Turkish Media on EU Reaction to Trump Victory: It's Panic & There's No Plan B

© AP Photo / Osman Orsal, FileFlags of Turkey, right, and the European Union are seen in front of a mosque in Istanbul, Turkey
Flags of Turkey, right, and the European Union are seen in front of a mosque in Istanbul, Turkey - Sputnik International
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Relations between Turkey and the EU have reached a new low, the two sides issuing increasingly harsh statements against one another. Guldener Sonumut, Turkish television representative in Brussels, told Sputnik that given the EU's panic over Donald Trump's election victory, threats and pressure against Ankara probably won't do Brussels any good.

Speaking to Sputnik Turkey, Sonumut, NTV bureau chief in Brussels, recalled that the level of tensions between the EU and Ankara has escalated dramatically in recent weeks. Together with the unexpected election of Donald Trump to the presidency, the EU's conflict with Brussels has contributed to an atmosphere of panic in the European capital.

"In the current circumstances, at least for the near future, the EU has no possibility of implementing initiatives in key areas such as the interaction between Brussels and NATO, relations with Russia, Middle East strategy and the fight against Daesh (ISIL/ISIS)," Sonumut explained.

File photo taken from the Turkish side of the border between Turkey and Syria, in Akcakale, Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, Syrian refugees burst into Turkey after breaking the border fence and crossing from Syria cross into Turkey - Sputnik International
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"Therefore, Brussels is likely going to have to reconsider its positions on these issues in the near future," he added. "Meanwhile, Donald Trump's position toward the EU is quite clearly articulated and defined."

Effectively, the journalist suggested that "the EU is going through a period where it is becoming weaker, both from an economic and political perspective and in terms of security." Hypothetically, the EU might try, like Russia and the US, to act as a force that promotes security in the international arena. The problem with that idea, according to Sonumut, is that "the EU is not in a position to carry out this function. It does not have the necessary political will and the necessary resources."

As for Washington, their policy now faces a 180 degree shift after the unexpected election of Donald Trump. "Trump is in favor of rational, balanced relations with Russia, and does not want to engage in confrontation with Moscow, considering Daesh to be the only common enemy for the US and the EU. In this way, it's obvious that the positions of the EU and the US on this issue diverge."

At the same time, Sonumut noted that having put all its hopes on a Clinton victory, "Brussels does not have any Plan B on how to build cooperation with the US after Trump's arrival."

Turkish-EU Relations

In recent weeks and days, relations between Ankara and bureaucrats in Brussels have dropped to possibly their all-time low. On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu complained that Ankara was "truly fed up" with Brussels' "double standards" and degrading commentary toward Turkey.

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Last week, the European Commission issued a report on Turkey's progress toward possible accession into the supranational bloc, criticizing the country for "backsliding" in the sphere of freedom of expression and slamming Ankara of problems in the area of corruption, abuse of power, and the violent persecution of journalists and activists. Brussels officials have gone so far as to threaten Turkey with economic sanctions. 

Commenting on the strain in relations, Sonumut told Sputnik that a complete rupture in relations between the two parties is unlikely, for several reasons. 

"Turkey remains a partner for the EU on the issues of intelligence sharing, security and the migrant crisis. If negotiations between Turkey and the EU are suspended, the path to further dialogue on these issues will be permanently closed. If negotiations are suspended, and Turkey later fulfills the conditions set forth by Brussels, the EU will find it impossible to achieve the consensus necessary to resume negotiations."

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At the same time, Sonumut noted that "here, we must understand that we are not talking about accepting Turkey into the EU in the near future. Brussels could give Turkey 24 months to ensure that it establishes the functioning of the rule of law, and to bring institutions in line with the Copenhagen criteria. In this case the issue would be joining the EU around 2023. Such an approach would reveal the extent to which Turkey actually intends to join the EU, and Brussels' seriousness."

"But threats and pressure toward Ankara won't allow any results to be achieved," the journalist concluded.

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