President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s repressive actions after the failed putsch in Turkey are difficult for Europe to accept. No question about it, his policies are irreconcilable with our democratic and constitutional values. But does a reciprocal relationship of geopolitical dependency allow a clear European response?
Because of the need to minimize security risks, Europe will have little alternative to continuing to work with Turkey. That’s bad news for the European value system. Equally bad is that little hope exists at the moment that anything will change for the better in Turkey’s domestic politics.
Let’s not forget: Europe reacted too late. It let the issue of Turkey’s admission to the European Union remain uncertain for too long, and that took away further incentives toward democratization and harmonization with E.U. laws.