Boris Johnson and post-truth politics
Mahmut Övür writes:
“The second lie was during the Brexit campaign, he ‘lied’ that ‘Turkey, with its 76 million people, will become a member of the EU’ – which was very influential in the Brexit vote. The Western media defines this feature of his character as ‘A classic Boris Johnson’. ‘The ultimate point of exaggeration, distortion and lies. A successful clown’.
Source: Daily Sabah
The question is: Will Turkey join the EU?
Accession of Turkey to the European Union
Turkey is negotiating its accession to the EU as a member state, following its application to the European Economic Community, the predecessor of the EU, on 14 April 1987. After the ten founding members, Turkey was one of the first countries to become a member of the Council of Europe in 1949. The country was also an associate member of the Western European Union from 1992 to its end in 2011. Turkey signed a Customs Union agreement with the EU in 1995 and was officially recognised as a candidate for full membership on 12 December 1999, at the Helsinki summit of the European Council.
Negotiations for full membership were started on 3 October 2005. Progress was slow, and out of the 35 Chapters necessary to complete the accession process only 16 had been opened and one had been closed by May 2016.
The early 2016 refugee deal between Turkey and the European Union was intended to accelerate negotiations after previous stagnation and allow visa-free travel through Europe for Turks.
So at the time that BoJo made the statement, Turkey’s accession was quite likely.
In any case, a key fear of the British people voting for Brexit was that ‘visa-free travel through Europe’ would provide a pathway for refugees from Syria and elsewhere via Turkey.
As it happens, negotiations have stalled, but at the time BoJo made the statement, the possibility of Turkey joining the EU was quite high:
European Union–Turkey relations
Turkey has been an applicant to accede to the EU since 1987, but since 2016 accession negotiations have stalled. The EU has criticized Turkey for human rights violations and deficits in rule of law. In 2017, EU officials expressed the view that planned Turkish policies violate the Copenhagen criteria of eligibility for an EU membership. On 26 June 2018, the EU’s General Affairs Council stated that ‘the Council notes that Turkey has been moving further away from the European Union’. ‘Turkey’s accession negotiations have therefore effectively come to a standstill…’
Turkish EU accession: Where are we?
Migration management: The so-called ‘migrant crisis’ has brought out a new dimension in EU-Turkey relations. The unprecedented situation in the Mediterranean pushed member states of the EU to sign an extremely controversial agreement with Ankara at the start of 2016 to stem migration, as the EU did not know how to cope with the crisis. With the deal, Turkey helped the EU to find a temporary solution. According to the deal, all irregular migrants who crossed Turkey to reach Greek islands since 20 March 2016 are resent to Turkey. For each Syrian sent back from Greece, another is resettled in the EU, up to a limit of 72,000 persons.
At the same time, the EU reopened the chapter on budgetary matters in Turkey’s EU accession negotiations in June 2016, and the EU undertook the process of visa liberalisation for Turks. However, the developments have been compromised by the current situation in Turkey.
Two years after the agreement, its results are contested. The number of migrants arriving on Greek islands has decreased dramatically, by 97 percent, and 1,500 migrants have been taken back to Turkey. Living conditions in the Greek islands, however, have not improved.
Source: The New Federalist
Turks welcome ‘Ottoman grandson’ Boris Johnson as British leader
Turkey celebrated incoming British PM Boris Johnson’s Turkish heritage on Wednesday, with politicians and media proclaiming that the ‘Ottoman grandson’ could strengthen ties between two countries on Europe’s fringes. The former London mayor is the great-grandson of the Ottoman Empire’s last interior minister, Ali Kemal, and his ancestry has been a source of pride for many Turks. Despite his sometimes disparaging remarks about Turkey, including a crude limerick about President Tayyip Erdogan and demands in 2016 that Britain veto Turkey’s accession to the European Union, Johnson is affectionately referred to as ‘Boris the Turk’ by some Turkish media.
Source: Khaleej Times