Can Tundar You know what it will be like Personally threatened For him President of Turkey. “The author of that article will pay a lot,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the newspaper in 2015. Republic, Then directed by Tonder, which released exclusive information on the supply of arms to Syrian Islamic rebels at the hands of Turkish secret services. Since last December in Turkey, the journalist a Sentence Than prison 27 years in prison For espionage and support for a terrorist organization. In 2016, then The military coup against Erdogan failed While he was staying in Spain, he decided to deport to Germany. In Berlin it has become one Bad voice For the Turkish president and the European position on Ankara. Newspaper Has spoken with him.
Is your country currently living under a dictatorship?
I can not say that this is a dictatorship, because Erdogan pretends to be a dictator, and although he pretends, there are still people who oppose him, who are strong enough to oppose oppression. But I can define my country as a dictatorial regime, a human organization that wants to rule without a parliament, without justice and an independent media. It has not yet achieved it because there are still opposition parties, the media that take the risk of telling the truth and people who refuse to live under dictatorship.
How would you define that Official visit of the President of the European Commission, Ursula van der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michael to visit Ankara this week?
Great disappointment to all democratic forces in Turkey who believe in democracy, European standards, freedom of the press, equality between men and women, and secularism. We expected the EU to support the freedom fighters in Turkey, but instead Erdogan wants to extend its support at a time when the worst moment of his political career is passing.
How do you explain that visit after the great dictatorial setback in Turkey, which ruled with Erdogan?
The EU’s priority is to stop the flow of refugees from Syria, and Erdogan wants to keep them on Turkish soil instead of sending them to Europe. That is the first reason. Second, the EU does not want to anger Erdogan to avoid problems in the Mediterranean. In the Aegean Sea outside Greece, And Turkey’s aggressive foreign policy. Finally, the EU does not want Erdogan Putin to approach Russia, and he wants to be part of NATO.
It has been said on several occasions that the EU needs Turkey more than Turkey needs the EU.
Yes exactly. It is an important economic partner. Turkey is a large country, European countries can sell many things, for example weapons. But we are tired of that image of Turkey as a soldier guarding the western and NATO borders or as the buyer of the best weapons produced by other NATO countries. We want to be an equal and respected partner in the European family.
For you, as a Turkish citizen, has the EU lost all credibility as a program that claims to promote human rights and the rule of law?
I no longer see the EU in world politics. It is no longer an actor in the Middle East, the Far East or even Africa. Europe is losing its influence around the world. The same is true in Turkey: Europe was once our dream, not because of its wealth, but because of its democratic policies. But look at it now: Turkey refuses to accept the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, and Europe can do nothing about it. The EU is losing the power of its reputation and influence when it loses its policies. The EU has sacrificed its policies in favor of its day-to-day business.
Is the EU hypocritical in publicly criticizing Erdogan and then signing agreements with him personally?
Absolutely. Imagine why European leaders did not want to meet the opposition in Turkey. President Merkel has visited Turkey more than any other country in recent years. Why not meet members of the opposition? Why does the head of the European Commission not want to see the relatives of Turkish political prisoners this week?
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You said a few years ago: “We have political prisoners, Spain has political prisoners. The only difference is that Spain is a member of the European Union and Turkey is only one candidate.” Do you still feel that way? Yes, definitely. Turkey is an example to Spain of how to outlaw parties or arrest members of parliament, and it is a shame for Spain that Erdogan sees it as an example. In Turkey, if they decide to outlaw a party or imprison a deputy, when opposition parties criticize the move, the government responds: “Look at Spain, look at Catalonia, look at the Basque Country.” Erdogan cites Spain as an example to justify his attacks. This is sad for Europe as well.