By Ozan Ceyhun, Daily Sabah
Apparently being an EU member does not prevent breaching EU values as the latest statements of Austria and the Netherlands have proven. I am sure several other countries will also jump on the value-breaching wagon soon. I truly wonder if they actually have a full understanding of the democratic process.
Whereas election propaganda is free for the Italians, Spanish, French, Swiss and Greeks who live in Austria and the Netherlands, it is prohibited for Turks, though the right to vote is a fundamental privilege. Austria is one of the worst EU countries in regard to foreign rights and it is more than natural for citizens of other countries who live in Austria to cast ballots for elections in their mother countries as Austria does not grant citizenship to all the foreign population living in its borders. The people who vote, of course, have the right to obtain information. As a matter of fact, informing the electorate is of vital importance in the conditions set by the Austrian constitution and laws. The electorate is required to listen to candidate parties to make well-informed decisions.
However, Austria and the Netherlands deprive people of this fundamental right despite collecting taxes from them each year. This practice goes against democracy and EU values.
Why do Austria, the Netherlands and several other EU countries seem afraid of the Turkish electorate's right to vote? The Turkish electorate is free to choose any party they deem worthy.
Furthermore, the anti-Turkish sentiments and statements leveled at the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan circulating Austria and the Netherlands prompt the Turkish electorate to vote for Erdoğan. Despite the vain efforts of these countries, the electorate will choose Erdoğan for president on June 24, 2018 since the game being played with Turkey has sickened Turkish voters.
Turkey decided to hold early elections on June 24, and the Turkish population seems content with this decision since the presidential system set to be introduced with the 2016 constitutional amendment referendum needs to be implemented as soon as possible as the country currently needs the new system.
In the new system, the president will serve five-year terms in office and will be authorized to start a new period for Turkey as of June 29, 2018. This will help the country take more concrete and healthy steps in many areas, including economy, societal peace, security, defense policies and foreign policy.
However, for some reason, the countries mentioned above do not want Turkey to be a stable country, although they claim the contrary. They are unsettled by a stronger, more stable Turkey. The prime ministers of Austria and the Netherlands have made their feelings clear in their latest remarks.
For some EU countries, Erdoğan's determined stance and prioritization of Turkey's interests constitute a big problem. They prefer a mediocre president and Parliament in Turkey who will conform to their words. They want Turkey to dependent and weak, like Greece, succumbing to the pressures in the eastern Mediterranean region, the Balkans, the Middle East and the Caucasus.
To that end, they have not refrained from anti-democratic interventions with regard to the June 24 early elections. They are supporting their own candidate against Erdoğan in a ridiculous way. While directing all kinds of accusations at the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) for allying with Erdoğan, these so-called watchdogs of democracy are not ashamed of supporting a former Interior Minister from the MHP.
Their sole purpose is to impede Erdoğan's victory. Those trying to hamper the democratic choice and the Turkish electorate's right to vote cannot say a single word to us regarding EU values.
On election day, they will once again see that their efforts were in vain.
On June 24, the Turkish electorate inside and outside the country will teach a democratic lesson to the naysayers, and democracy will once again triumph in Turkey.