Minister WESTERWELLE’S EMOTONAL OUTBURST
Mr Westerwelle, leader of Germany’s liberal Free Democratic Party and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany may be in a romantic, emotional frame of mind this week. “EUObserver” tells us he got “married” this week, so we must have some patience when a statesman whom we would like to see at other times as sober, goes off in an emotional way.
According to EUObserver quoting from the Wall Street Journal (Thursday 23 September) Mr Westerwelle said: “Nobody should rashly snub Turkey by slamming the door in its face after all its efforts.” He warned that EU-Turkey talks could unravel unless further progress is made quickly
“…rashly snub Turkey “, “slamming the door” “in its face” “after all its efforts”? This is highly emotional and false. Nobody in Europe wants to “snub” Turkey, not “rashly” and not “unrashly”. We like the Turkish people. But giving in to Turkish government pressure, which works on “another agenda”, is something we shall resist.
The whole procedure of negotiation between the EU and Turkey started in October 2005 after the Summit of The Hague and goes on only because of Turkey’s insistence. Turkey therefore bears solely the responsibility of all time spent in Brussels and in its internal country reform efforts. Any further time spent on the “accession negotiations” can in no way increase Turkey’s claims or procedural standing.
In our opinion the present EU-Turkey talks are well worth “unraveling”. We should make another fresh start.
“It sometimes amazes me how self-assuredly countries that are influential today assume that things will always be that way … It’s only a question of time before these young, dynamic societies [such as Turkey] are also among the political, cultural and intellectual centers of the world,” .
“Such as Turkey”. .We ask what other countries Mr. Westerwelle has in mind. Ukraine? The Russian Federation? Morocco? We do not see that the Wall Street Journal (itself of a liberal tendency) cared to follow up on that question. But clearly Minister Westerwelle’s ambitions go beyond Turkey. We are warned.
We certainly need the people of Turkey as good neighbors and friends, and partners. Our best time for achieving that may perhaps come after the present Erdogan regime is gone. Important alliances need time, no over hasted action will do, concocted under time pressure against the will of the European people.
For our best interests worldwide Europe does not need more space and people, but more internal cohesion. Strength comes from the inside, not from artificially increased geographical and demographical volume.
In light of the irresponsible remarks of a leading Germany politician we should reflect how we can close ranks with Angela Merkel and , if she is still with us, see how we can support her in other, better Turkey policies.
That the Turkish authorities in the person of Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan reacted favorably to Minister Westerwelle’s remarks is no matter for surprise. However we do not care to repeat his words. If AFP quoted him correctly, his remarks were of the arrogant variety which unfortunately becomes customary on Turkey’s side.
Anton Smitsendonk Paris 23 September 2010
(note; see many articles on the topic in www.voices-of-europe.org )