Their fear of ‘losing a strategic partner’, has caused Europe to turn a blind eye to regime atrocities in Turkey. Since 2005, Europe has remained largely silent in the teeth of Turkish official discourse that has demonised domestic opponents as plotters in the service of European/western interests. Europe has also remained silent against the AKP elite’s use of law as an instrument for settling political scores with opponents. Europe has been silent too as the Turkish state supported and collaborated with Jihadi terror groups to destabilise Syria. Finally, Europe remained largely silent when AKP officials (including the president and the prime-minister) have uttered irredentist claims against other neighbours such as Iraq and Greece.
But the times are a changin’. The latest UN report has put on record that Turkish security forces have destroyed Kurdish cities and towns under the pretext of fighting terrorism. The security crackdown led to deaths of more than one thousand Kurdish civilians and displacement of over 350,000 Kurdish men, women and children. Also, in a number of European countries (Austria, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland) local and central government authorities have refused permission to Turkish officials campaigning for a Yes vote in the upcoming referendum.