‘Europe doesn’t need Turkey’

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan (R) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are pictured during the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, May 23, 2016. © Ozan Kose
Angela Merkel shouldn’t have struck a deal on migrants as it has put her in a helpless situation, says Petr Bystron from the Alternative for Germany party (AfD). All Ankara wants it to get financial support; it doesn’t respect what was agreed, he adds.

The German Chancellor’s visit to Turkey is viewed by many as Merkel's attempt to save the deal - with the Chancellor saying Europe and Turkey need to reconcile their interests. At the summit she made it clear there won't be any shortcuts to a visa-free regime for Turkey - even though Ankara previously threatened to pull out of the deal

I have made it clear that the implementation of a visa-free regime is based on 72 requirements and that we need the fulfillment of all of these conditions in order to grant visa-free travel [to Turkish citizens],” she said.

Turkey's incoming Prime Minister Binali Yıldırm said earlier that the EU needs to clarify how Turkey's membership prospects are looking.

RT: According to the British Prime Minister, at the current pace, even the prospect of Turkey’s membership is several generations away, and Turkey won't get to join until the year 3000. What is your opinion about it?

Petr Bystron: British Prime Minister David Cameron is right; Turkey is not ready to enter the European Union. And what happened in the Turkish parliament just few days ago is showing that the distance has got even bigger.  

RT: Would Turkey forget what was agreed when this immigrant deal was drafted and agreed to by all sides?

PB: You see that Angela Merkel is visiting Turkey and she is kind of in a hopeless situation. Because she made a deal with Erdogan and she should never have signed this deal. Turkey does not belong to Europe. Turkey does not belong to the European Union. Angela Merkel is dealing with this despot who is not respecting any democratic rules.

RT: Both Brussels and Berlin insist that all conditions for visa-free travel must be met. That includes the tough anti-terror laws seen as being used to crush dissent. Erdogan refuses to budge. What's the solution? Would Turkey really pull out of the deal?

PB: I am not sure because Turkey is always playing the same game: Turkey is saying that it is ready, that it is willing to enter the EU and that is trying to help, but in fact Turkey just wants to get the financial support for helping with the migrants but at the same time we see that they are not respecting what we agreed with them. They are sending only sick people. Turkish authorities are keeping Syrian refugees with higher education in Turkey – this is a very complicated situation in which Angela Merkel took Europe into.

RT: Merkel's been repeatedly accused of conceding too much to Turkey. Is that fair? Is there a red line after which both Berlin and Brussels would say 'enough is enough'?

PB: In fact, Europe does not need Turkey. Germany does not need Turkey. So, we should immediately stop any negotiations. We should say: “There will be no visa-free entry for Turkish to the EU.” But what is happening is that Angela Merkel continues the talks. What we see is only a show – Angela Merkel met some journalists and politicians just to send a signal…

RT: You said Merkel is in an awkward position: she was in an awkward position a few months ago when someone needed to come out with a plan. It wasn’t the best plan, but wasn’t it something positive?

PB: It was not positive at the end because now we have the results. It would be a better idea to close the outer borders of the EU as it was signed in the Schengen treaty - we should support Greece in building outer borders and not dealing with Turkey.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.