Attempt to appease this Tuesday, April 6 between Brussels and Ankara. The President of the European Commission, Ursula Van der Leyen, and the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, are received by Turkish President Erdogan. But can reconciliation between the two take place?
Turkey is popular again in some aspects. We are far from the 2020 declarations of war by Recep Erdogan, who questioned the mental health of Emmanuel Macron and called France racist. Remember also these Turkish gas exploration vessels in the territorial waters of Greece and Cyprus, the participation of Ankara in the conflicts in Syria, Libya, Iraq or Nagorno Karabakh …
After threatening sanctions, the European Union now believes thatErdogan extends his hand and that we can try to renegotiate with him on the Customs Union, on refugees or visas granted to Turkish citizens.
But beware, there are still tender spots that Ursula Van der Leyen and Charles Michel will absolutely have to address: why has Turkey withdrawn from the Istanbul convention on violence against women? And why such a crackdown on the pro-Kurdish HDP party? Not to mention the multiple arbitrary arrests …
Why Turkey Needs This Helping Hand
Economically, the country suffers greatly, with a inflation above 15% every year for 5 years. Recep Erdogan’s popularity is crumbling. And for the first time in 18 years, the president is not sure of being re-elected in 2023.
Why reconcile with Turkey
We are far from the Turkish dream of joining the European Union, a dream that has been put aside since Recep Erdogan became an authoritarian leader since the failed coup in 2016. But Turkey still has the NATO 2nd Army, and especially welcomes in its territory 4 million Syrian refugees, refugees that she prevents from entering our country in exchange for financial compensation. Turkey, we need it.
But within the European Union, not everyone agrees on the line to be taken against Ankara. Germany, where 3 million Turks live, has always been in favor of negotiations with Recep Erdogan. For Greece it is not the same. “In primary school, we learn that Turkey is our enemy,” a Greek MP tells us. Every day, Turkish planes take off from Smyrna to Greece and Athens fears a military invasion. The Greeks supported by the French. For the Elysee, the current balance is fragileErdogan must clarify his position: “Is Turkey with us or against us?” Emmanuel Macron asked recently, in any case today, we must not break the link.