EU la for en uge siden nærmest sin skæbne i Tyrkiet og Erdogans hænder. Når man ser hvad der sker i Tyrkiet, må man undres om europæiske ledere har forstanden i behold, eller om de befinder sig i en slags trance hvor ting bare sker og de driver med strømmen.

Erdogan er en meget farlig mand og Tyrkiet et meget farlig land for Europa. Men EU taler kun om migrantstrømmen og vil gøre hvad som helst for at standse den. Det ved Erdogan, og han har stillet betingelser som en anden “don”: Han ydmyget og trakasserede Juncker og Tusk i november. Han føler sig immun og han vinder frem. Europa er i dag bare i stand til at reagere, ikke agere.


Denne passivitet er det mest truende. Europa er ved at blive det vedhæng til Mellemøsten som Bernhard Lewis advarede mod for flere tiår siden. Vi bliver integreret i Midtøsten. “Integrationen” sker via migranter og nærheden til Mellemøsten øger i takt med befolkningsvæksten. Krigen i Syrien og destabiliseringen af Mellemøsten er motoren som sender mennesker til Europa. Det betyder at også krigen rykker tættere på.


Den har nu nået Tyrkiet.

Når man læser hva Spiegel skriver om Erdogan og Tyrkiets kollaboration med IS og deres undertrykkelse af all opposition, forstår man at Tyrkiet er et land med dårlige udsigter.

Et land hvor det hemmelige politi får stadig flere fuldmagter, hvor journalister arresteres i flæng, hvor dommere avsættes, hvor selv den mindste kritik af myndighederne udløser retssag, er særdeles dårlig rustet til at bekæmpe terror.

Erdogan er snar til at anklage PKK og kurderne. Han klarer ikke konfrontere IS, som han har samarbejdet med.

Det her er et NATO-land og det har fået lov at udvikle sig i en retning som ikke er forenelig med alliancens verdier. I stedet er det nu Tyrkiet som påtvinger EU sine verdier.

Åbne dører

Turkey, after all, long underestimated the danger presented by Islamist extremists and thus helped their ascent. When the insurgency in Syria began, Erdogan hoped to finally be able to topple Bashar Assad with the help of Syrian fundamentalists. He ignored — or perhaps simply accepted — who exactly he was supporting in the effort. And he ignored the fact that IS was becoming ever stronger.

Whereas Jordan’s security services prevented foreigners from traveling onward to Syria, making it unattractive for jihadists, Turkey basically welcomed them. Jihadists from Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, the Caucasus and Western Europe were neither intercepted nor prevented from traveling onward to the warzone. And they weren’t difficult to spot: At the airport of Hatay, a city in southern Turkey, bearded men would check in for their flights home wearing battle fatigues and with mud on their shoes.

For years, IS was able to maintain apartments, warehouses and even military training camps in Turkey. The group was also able to organize supplies of weapons, munitions, food and medicines via Turkey. Islamic State sent its fighters to Turkish hospitals near the Syrian border for treatment. Dubious companies issued certificates of employment so that foreign jihadists were able to get year-long residency permits with no trouble at all.

Islamic State was also able to recruit new followers with virtually no fear of interference — and officials simply ignored information provided by Turkish parents whose children had joined the extremists. As recently as 2014, IS was able to openly recruit new followers in Istanbul, Ankara and other cities. Young men and women from around the world only had to visit the teahouses neighboring certain mosques to join the group, while shops openly sold IS souvenirs, such as banners, stickers and flags.

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This laissez-faire approach was slowly replaced by concern in 2014, but by then it was too late. So many IS supporters and fighters were active in Turkey that they had become a danger to the country’s security. Yet instead of doing something about it, the decision was apparently made to avoid putting pressure on them in the hopes that Turkey wouldn’t become a target as well.

An unofficial member of the Turkish secret service MIT said in mid-2014 that he had never seen officials so nervous. “They are really afraid of IS because they know that their cells are everywhere in the country and could perpetrate attacks,” he said. Initially, though, the jihadists refrained from carrying out attacks so as not to endanger their bridgeheads elsewhere in the world.

That changed last summer with the attack on Suruc, which is thought to have been carried out by IS, likely to fan the flames of Turkey’s conflict with the Kurds. The Kurds, after all, are Islamic State’s largest and most powerful enemy in both Syria and Iraq.

Det blodige selvmordsangreb i Suruc var indledningen på den bølge som skulle komme. Men midt oppe i blodbadet kunne man lægge mærke til at Tyrkiet og IS havde samme fjende: kurderne. Kurderne fortalte at politet forhindrede ambulancer med sårede. Hvilken side er Tyrkiet egentlig på?

Turkey’s MIT secret service plays a particularly ambivalent role in anti-terror efforts. There are some indications suggesting MIT may have worked together with IS — at least in the past. A weapons delivery in 2014 also raised suspicions that MIT may have been providing Syrian extremists with direct support.


Denne kollaboration med IS er ikke ukendt for vestlige sikkerhedstjenester. De har længe spurgt sig selv: Kan man stole på tyrkerne? Nogle trækker parallellen til Pakistan og forholdet mellem den mægtige sikkerhedstjeneste ISI, og Taliban.

Other experts draw a less flattering comparison to Pakistan’s ISI intelligence service. With ISI, too, they say, you never know which side it is actually on — whether it is combatting or supporting the Taliban or doing both at the same time.

Men det som gør situationen endnu mer alvorlig – for Europa – er at Erdogan systematisk har elimineret de demokratiske kræfter i landet. Udviklingen mod en politistat går med rekordfart.

European diplomats also find it problematic that MIT was given additional responsibilities in 2014 such that it can now be used as a “domestic policy instrument.” The secret service now has much greater access to data from companies, banks and their customers. “It is making life difficult for all people who are unpopular with the government,” the diplomat says. He says this has also resulted in further incursions into press freedoms. Journalists who report on the intelligence agency’s activities can now be subject to prosecution and stiff prison sentences because it can be claimed that they threaten security.


Det var selvsagt ikke tilfældig at Erdogan slog til mod den uavhængige presse tre dager før topmødet med EU.

A few days before the summit, Erdogan dealt another heavy blow to press freedom, as if wanting to show Europe he can get away with anything. He had the country’s largest newspaper, Zaman, be placed under mandatory government administration as anti-terror police occupied the opposition publication’s editorial offices. The same thing happened this week to the news agency Cihan.

Prior to that, Can Dündar, the editor in chief of the daily Cumhuriyet, which is critical of the government, was arrested. The country’s constitutional court ultimately ordered his release, but the president made clear that he wouldn’t accept the verdict. In the last 18 months, close to 2,000 people have come under investigation for “insulting the president” in Turkey. And now the government wants to suspend parliamentary immunity for lawmakers from the pro-Kurdish HDP party.

Angrebet på politisk opposition og civilsamfundet har pågået i lang tid, men er intensiveret. Erdogan går efter de kræfter som skulle være Tyrkiets immumstoffer mod IS og terror. Og EU løftede ikke en finger.

Neither Angela Merkel, nor EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini nor European Council President Donald Tusk has dared to explicitly criticize the Turkish president. Instead, they proffered only the mildest of condemnations. But when Europe tiptoes on eggshells like that, it jeopardizes its credibility. What right will it still have to criticize limits to the freedom of the press in countries like Hungary — or in Putin’s “managed democracy”?

Et godt poeng: EU v Merkel og Juncker har kritiseret Orbàn og i den senere tid også Polen for ikke at respektere demokratiet. Men overfor de massive brud i Tyrkiet, siger man intet. Man indgår på toppen af det hele en aftale som gir tyrkerne visumfrihed.

The EU is now paving the way for the president to change his country’s constitution and weaken Turkey’s democratic institutions. Erdogan has also reignited the conflict with the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The army, in its battle against Kurdish militants, has put entire cities in the southeast under curfew and left many homes in ruins. The president is destabilizing his own country and the broader region.

Det er let at se at Erdogan ikke har kontrol. Samtidig er han en spiller. Han har spilt migranterne ud mot Europa. Hvorfor skulle han ikke kunne spille tyrkerne i Europa ud mot europeerne? Han har stået på talerstolen i tyske byer og sagt at tyrkerne der ikke må bli for tyske. For tyskerne burde slike toner vække ubehagelige minder om Sudetenland og andre områder udenfor Tyskland med tysketalende. Men det er som Europa ikke klarer huske sin historie eller forstå sin samtid.

Europa nægter at se hvor dybt det har sunket.

Det vigtigste for Europa sker ikke længere i Brussel, det sker i Ankara og i Mellemøsten, og EU er kun modtager.

Vi er på the receiving end af en krig, som vi ikke har nogen indlydelse på.

Nogle klarer endog at fremstille det som at vi bør være glade for anledningen til at være humanitære.

Slik svinder Europa hurtig hen.







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