Events » VIDEO: Turkey's Military Posturing in the East Mediterranean. What Should EU Do?
VIDEO: Turkey's Military Posturing in the East Mediterranean. What Should EU Do?

When: Wednesday, September 30, 2020 11:00 -

We organized a webinar where a panel of experts have discussed Turkey’s military posturing in the East Mediterranean The speakers focused on the Erdogan regime and possible solutions the EU and the international community have at their disposal to counteract him.

MEP Peter van Dalen focused on the role the EU and the Parliament play. He does not view Turkey as part of Europe, the country’s profile is utterly incompatible with European/ EU values and he echoed what his party as well as ECPM have asked for a while now, and that is for the “EU accession talks with Turkey to formally end.” Mr. van Dalen has proposed an amendment in the Foreign Affairs Committee to stop the pre-accession funding that Erdogan has been receiving from the EU which was welcomed by the majority of the Committee. “We should instead develop a neighboring policy between EU and Turkey, like we have with other countries” is Mr. van Dalen’s opinion.

Dr. Kleanthis Kyriakidis, Assistant Professor at the American University in the Emirates and Dept. Chair of B.A. in Security & Strategic Studies, as well as a retired captain in the Greek Navy, pointed to the islamist sharp turn Turkey took in the last few years, a radical departure from the profoundly secular country it once was. “Erdogan is dangerous and he turned Turkey into a failed, rogue state. He plays the role of the big brother of the Muslim Brotherhood; he islamizes politics, while he politicizes religion ”, Dr. Kyriakidis said, while arguing for a strong stance and a show of force, as well as harsh sanctions imposed on Turkey, saying “appeasement doesn’t work”.

Abdullah Bozkurt, a Turkish journalist living in exile in Sweden and founder of The Nordic Monitor, agreed that it will take a lot to deter and reign in Erdogan’s dictatorial tendencies. He offered a few examples of nepotism where when close allies or family or Turkey’s president got into legal trouble (which could eventually trace back to Erdogan himself) internationally, he did everything possible to get the people cleared of or to evade charges. This nepotism could be Erdogan’s weak point and should be further explored for leverage.

A powerful moment on the ECPM-hosted panel was in the beginning when Mr. Bozkurt recounted for the audience the attack he suffered a week prior, the marks and injuries still visible on his face. Three unknown men attacked and injured him close to his house in Stockholm and, since he is a wanted man in Turkey and on a kill list, his feeling is that this attack was targeted and meant as intimidation against his work as a journalist and researcher.