During a two-day visit to Ankara this week, Simon Coveney engaged with Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusogl, about the prospects of greater integration and membership for the 82 million strong predominantly Sunni nation into the European Union.
Despite EU-Turkic relations hitting the skids the past year, as well as the latter’s support for Islamists around the Middle East, and unambiguous endorsement of violence against French citizens in a recent diplomatic spat, Minister Coveney voiced his support for rapprochement between the Turks and the European bloc.
“During the talks between the two Foreign Ministers, bilateral relations between Turkey and Ireland, issues regarding the EU and Turkey’s EU accession process will be discussed and an exchange of ideas on current regional and international issues within the context of Ireland’s non-permanent UNSC membership will take place” read a statement from the Turkish foreign ministry before talks occurred.
With some provisos around altering its human rights record, Ireland, or rather the various regimes occupying Iveagh house, has been a continuous supporter of Turkey’s integration within the European Union over the past two decades. Officially an ascension candidate since 2005, the Turkish application to join the EU has ironically been opposed by Angela Merkel, who has repeatedly called for the suspension of Ankara’s application in light of human rights violations.
Additionally discussed during the two-day visit was the issue of refugees and migration, with Turkey being a major destination for Irish foreign aid to manage the humanitarian crisis caused by the Syrian Civil War. Over the past decade, short of €170 million has been sent by the State to assist largely Turkey and Lebannese projects around refugee management, with Minister Coveney observing some of these efforts himself in the Hatay province of southern Turkey.
With grants distributed through both pre-existing NGOs and UN agencies, available via a Freedom of Information request, the Department of Foreign Affairs revealed that €25.7 million was channeled towards aid regarding the conflict in 2020 alone, with most previous years averaging similar.
The issue of Turkey’s prospective membership of the European Union was discussed at a Joint Committee of the Oireachtas in 2019, addressed by Turkish ambassador Levent Murat Burhan and which met with the general approval of Irish parliamentarians of all rank and persuasion.
Also discussed over the two day visit by Coveney, which drew online criticism regarding its necessity during a global pandemic, were the issues of the Iranian nuclear accords, as well the ongoing conflict in Libya in relation to the new American administration.
The talks between Ireland and Turkey occur within the context of Ireland taking its seat on the much coveted UN Security Council, greatly enhancing our small statelet’s prestige on the world stage, albeit temporarily. The fact that the first port of call for Irish officials was a quasi-rogue Sunni state, effectively holding Europe to ransom, is perhaps rather telling.
It hardly goes without saying that the very notion of Turkey entering the orbit of normal European politics broaches on borderline geopolitical and civilisational madness. Ireland and its foreign policy establishment has badly misread the tea leaves in regards to Turkey, with most European nations firmly slamming the door on any possibility of Turkey entering the EU.
As a long term citizen of the Davos elite and protegé to fat-cat open borders fanatic Peter Sutherland, Simon Coveney has failed to get the memo regarding Turkey, even after the past year which saw the Turkish president call for the blood of Europeans.
While our State goes to great lengths to suffocate a populist right at home, through legislation, condemnation, and outright censorship, they are content with rubbing shoulders with genuine genocidal autocracies which greatly imperil the future of European Christendom.
Nothing was gained for our national interest in Coveney’s jaunt abroad, and if this is the trend for the next two years of sitting on the UN Security Council, it ought make us think twice about involving ourselves in global power games that do not serve our interests.