09:53 GMT17 June 2021
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    A year has passed since Turkey's coup attempt, yet the EU's policy of double standards toward Turkey continues to drive a wedge between Brussels and Ankara, a Turkish MP told Sputnik.

    Hundreds of thousands of people across Turkey took part in marches and processions dedicated to the first anniversary of the attempted military coup in Turkey. To commemorate surviving the botched overthrow, Turkish President Erdogan established the Day of Democracy and National Unity, which took place late last week.

    A coup attempt, which mainly involved members of the army, took place across Turkey on July 15, 2016. Most of the struggle happened in the capital Ankara and in Istanbul. More than 240 Turkish citizens were killed and over 2,000 wounded during the unsuccessful military takeover.

    The Turkish government has accused Fethullah Gulen, an Islamic preacher living in the United States, of involvement in the coup and demanded his extradition to Turkey. More than 50,000 people were arrested and 100,000 dismissed or suspended from their jobs as part of the post-coup crackdown inside Turkey.

    Meanwhile, relations between Ankara and the EU continue to deteriorate over Brussels' foot-dragging on Turkey's EU bid, with President Erdogan recently saying in an interview with the BBC that Brussels wastes his country's time.

    "If the EU bluntly says, 'We will not be able to accept Turkey into the EU', this would be comforting for us…" Erdogan said.

    Speaking to Sputnik Turkey, Emine Nur Gunay, a member of the Turkish parliament from the ruling AKP party, specifically focused on the future of Ankara-EU ties in this context.

    "The internal political changes in EU countries in recent years, the strengthening of ultra-right and populist tendencies, and most importantly, the structural crisis that came to the fore in the EU after the global economic crisis of 2008 and worsened after Brexit, have had an extremely negative impact on Turkey's relations with the EU," Gunay said.

    She referred to the latest report by the European Parliament, which she said was issued on the eve of the anniversary of the attempted coup in Turkey. "The document pays lip-service to condemning all those involved in the coup attempt but at the same time, it expresses gratitude to the countries that provide shelter to FETO terrorists," she said.

    In other words, the attacks by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) are condemned, but simultaneously in the European Parliament, the PKK members are given permission to hold conferences and open an exhibition, according to her.

    "In addition, a rapporteur from the European Parliament's Turkey report, Dutch social-democrat Kati Piri, is also taking part in the PKK members' conference. How can one believe in the impartiality and transparency of this organization's report? The EU should show its clear-cut position on Turkey, rejecting its double standards policy; it should stop cheating and beat about the bush, something that the Turkish President stressed in his statement," Gunay said.

    On the future of EU-Turkey ties, she said that "the summit of the EU heads of states scheduled for December is expected to become a turning point in relations between the two sides. 

    "Turkey will outline its strategy and policy with regard to cooperation with the EU. If Brussels, instead of populist rhetoric, demonstrates an approach based on mutual interests, the negotiation process will continue," Gunay added.

    The future of the liberalization of visa requirements, the implementation of the agreement on the readmission of refugees, as well as the expansion of the agreement on the Customs Union and issues of cooperation in the fight against terrorism can contribute both to the emergence of new positive dynamics in bilateral relations and the emergence of another round of tension, according to her.

    "The political will and vision of both sides will be of decisive importance for the future negotiation process and the relations between Ankara and Brussels in 2018 and subsequent years," Gunay concluded.


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