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For how long EU will be the international joke
by Thanos Kalamidas
2011-09-20 07:12:31
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There is a Greek comedy film from the 1960s where the protagonist of the film often slaps on the face a younger man who is always around; and of course every time the younger man asks why and the older man answers “because you are here.” The whole scene is surreal and goes on and on all the way through the something like 70 minutes the film last and somehow these scene came to my mind when I read the latest that Turkish Deputy Prime Minister for Cyprus affairs Besir Atalay said regarding the programmed Cypriot EU presidency next year.

The Turkish Deputy Prime Minister actually threatens the European Union that if the European Union gives to Cyprus Democracy the rotating EU presidency in 2012, Turkey will freeze relations with the bloc. And the logical answer from a powerful bloc, a union that is one of the main players in every sense in this globe should be …really, and start laughing. But two things are behind this declaration, first that the dazed and confused union is taking so many slaps from every side that has lost control and trembles in the field of foreign policy leaving even a country that begs for membership the last three decades to make threats and demands and the second is, how far Turkey is willing to take this latest bulling especially under the current international circumstances.

But before getting to Turkey’s issues; what’s really going on in Europe? Has Europe ended up being the land of opportunistic politicians with personal agendas and they have no intention to do anything about the common good? For how long Europe will be the last in a long cue of candidate powers? Has really become the old and crippled continent without will and vision?

I don’t expect the European leadership to answer to Besir Atalay; these are the short of talk you get in the Hyde Park corner with all those “if I was the prime minster” characters. The Cypriot democracy is a full and an equal member of the European Union doesn’t matter what Turkey says or not, this is a fact. As a full member has obligations and rights and the rotating EU presidency is part of those obligations Turkey likes it or not and Turkey didn’t find out about it last week but knows about it the last three years. Actually many have wrote series of articles about that days including myself, so why the momentum? Is it because these days looks like a giant with glass legs ready to fall down any minute? Where is Herman Van Rompuy, where is Barroso and where is the mighty expert of foreign affairs Catherine Ashton.

And this minute is not just an issue for the EU foreign affairs, a Turkish threat for the Turkish internal use but a reality that east Mediterranean lives. This very minute the fleets of Turkey, Cyprus, Israel and Greece are standby still waiting for the next move or the next order, but of course there us plenty of space for diplomacy – is anybody in there Mrs. Ashton? – but not the short of “equal distance” diplomacy that had an independent state invaded and a full member EU state under occupation – can you hear anything Mr. Van Rompuy – neither the short of “let’s see what the Americans will do and then we follow” diplomacy - hello Mr. Barroso. This situation demand the diplomacy a power the size of Europe can show using even the whip if necessary and not sacrifice a partner in the name of Siemens profits – do you understand Mrs. Merkel – and not the diplomacy that will turn an occupation into a nearly issue - Mr. Sarkozy – while playing games with both sides calculating profits, Mr. Cameron.

Coming now to Turkey, last week I wrote an article about the resent Turkish bulling in east Mediterranean saying that Turkey plays a poker game – never a chess – betting on the problems Europe and USA are dealing with this moment and expecting that none of them is prepared for another hot spot especially in an era where there are just too many burning spots. apart from that Turkey feels that the timing is good to take over Middle East as the protector superpower but it does so with an unpredictable player and that’s Israel.

The gas drilling Israel with Cyprus starts in the next few days and is the reasoning or the excuse for the Turkish aggressiveness the last few weeks, the next few days will be testing for the diplomatic missions from all around the world and Europe is obliged to play the main role, after all a member state is threaten so let’s see if the European Union and its representatives can just for ones the last decade stand and excuse their existence sending through Besir Atalay some really clear messages to everybody.

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