EU, Turkey & Chapter 17: ‘love’ needed

By Harun Yahya ,Special to The China Post

At a time of continuing world turmoil, an important development for Turkey took place recently. Chapter 17, on Economic and Monetary Policy, was opened within the scope of EU membership negotiations. This was the first time in two years that a positive step had been registered in the EU membership negotiations. Such progress had been expected in the wake of last month’s agreement with the EU on the subject of refugees. However, when this is considered together with the earlier EU progress report, a number of points require examination in the context of Turkey and the EU.

Although the EU Turkish Progress report unveiled in November praised Turkey over a number of issues, certain aspects continued to be the subject of criticism in the report. While it is impossible to fully subscribe to the criticism of the question of terror in Turkey and of local administrations, basic rights and freedoms, emphasized in almost every report, still require work.

Turkey has made considerable progress in its membership negotiations with the EU, and has certainly made enormous advances on the subject of democracy. However, this progress concerning Turkey and the EU also needs to be evaluated from a different perspective. In addition to being a European country, Turkey is also a gateway to the Middle East. It is an Islamic country with a 90-year, deep-rooted democracy. As an Islamic country it has a responsibility to build the finest democracy possible. That responsibility is even greater at this time when radical terror is spreading and also infiltrating Europe. It needs to show the world, and particularly the Islamic world, that an Islamic country can live by the perfect democracy enshrined by our Prophet (saas) in the Constitution of Medina. At the same time, it must achieve an even higher level of modernity and civilization than Europe with the value it attaches to women, art and science. Pleasing Europe and seeking to achieve the desired norms in negotiations is one way, of course, but Turkey must also do this as a component of its own existence, happiness and responsibility. Europe is certainly assessing Turkey’s candidacy, not only on the basis of EU norms, but also on the basis of its being an Islamic country. This most important factor makes it necessary for Turkey to prove itself more than other countries. The nonsensical way of thinking based on traditions that have entered many Islamic countries has led to Muslims attacking other Muslims in many countries, to a rapid growth in radical thinking and a severe quality deficit. An understanding has declared war on all of Europe’s civilized and aesthetic values, and has made its voice heard by way of angry slogans. The fact is, however that no country that restricts freedoms, despises women and relegates art and science to an inferior position can possibly maintain its existential values. It is unsurprising that at a time when much of the Islamic world is so removed from European priorities, and has even declared war on those values, that the EU should be broadening its evaluation criteria when opening its doors to an Islamic country.