Four years ago I wrote an article in Macedonian published in the Macedonian daily newspaper “Dnevnik” with the same title, but instead Turkey my focus then was on Syria. In that time when rest of the world or Europe was in deep ego-euro-centric sleep, I wrote about the massive violations of human rights in Syria and consequences for the European continent especially for my native Macedonia, referring on the responsibility we all have towards our fellow-man sufferings. Two years later, the broader Europe and my native Macedonia were faced with choices that only confirmed my fears of Europe becoming extremely xenophobic and nationalistic, and especially portray the ineffectiveness of the international community and the system for collective security in enforcing and maintaining peace.
Four years later in Turkey the same scenario is ravaging. The comparison between Syria and Turkey is inevitable because of many similarities and links that these two closely related cases share. Even though initially would seem that Erdogan’s regime (relation to ISIS, being a NATO member) is positioned differently from Assad’s still there is no much difference in terms of how they operate in their autocratic ruler-ship involving violence, oppression and fear. A complete suppression of every “democratic” or “rational” segment’s on various levels: media, judiciary and academia and institution of total “darkness”.
The same Syrian scenario is about to ensue if not already happening in Turkey and the question that is tormenting me is – where is the international community? Where is NATO? Where is EU? And where is the UN? Aren’t they especially EU and UN concerned about “human rights” and the “values” they are protecting? The values that I am not completely certain ever exist or existed in the deeply politicized EU? The situation in Turkey is not an “internal matter” any more, and it cannot be internal matter with the ongoing numerous extrajudicial killings, illegal detentions and illegitimate restrictions and limitations on rights and freedoms. The announcement for the suspension of the European Convention of Human Rights because of the proclamation of “state of emergency” is illegal and illegitimate, and this is the segment that EU should pronounce and denounce as well since few years ago itself as sui-generis entity accessed to the European Convention on Human Rights. States by proclaiming “state of emergency” (including France) cannot automatically suspend whole Convention but should apply the criteria set out by Article 15 and the case law of the European Court for Human Rights, which sets checks and balances for the rights and freedoms not to be discretionary violated in these circumstances. The states might derogate but not completely suspend the Convention. This derogations must be proportional to the situation, and must not in any case affect the right to life (which they are before and after with the arbitrary and extrajudicial killings), the absolute prohibition on torture and no punishments without law i.e. non-retroactivity of laws.
It is obvious that EU is in abyss, but is it at least going to try to reinvent itself even if it’s needed to play the role of an “zombie”, and pronounce on the situation in Turkey and most importantly take up a proactive role? Or is going to remain with “eyes wide shut” to another Syrian scenario enrolling speedily and with no control, sweeping whole Europe up?