|Dealing with the Erdogan Government|
The Istanbul court's appointment of trustees to manage Zaman and its sister outlets further reduced the number of opposition media organizations in Turkey, which is dominated by pro-government news outlets. It raised alarm bells over the deterioration of rights conditions in the NATO member nation, which also aspires for EU membership, just days before a March 7 meeting, in which EU leaders will try to convince Turkey to do more to curtail the flow of migrants traveling to Europe.
"The EU countries are preoccupied with their migration crisis, they are no longer concerned by rights violations in Turkey," said Semih Idiz, columnist for the opposition Cumhuriyet and independent Daily Hurriyet newspapers. "They'll say a few things as a matter of form, but they know they are dependent on Turkey."
As an undisclosed member of the Turkish opposition noted: ' the illegal takeover of the Zaman newspaper by the Turkish Government is a disgrace and a disregard by the Turkish Government of all basic Democratic Rights.
The EU must put their money where their mouth is, specifically when it comes to Democracy, Freedom of the Press, and Human Rights, which have all been flagrantly violated by the Turkish government, and postpone the upcoming March 7 meeting with Turkey.
The EU also will need to close all its Southern borders with Turkey and repatriate refugees back to Turkey which have recently entere, or those that are still making the crossing from Turkey into the EU, until Turkey comes forward with, or agrees to a verifiable agreemen as to solving the refugee crises.
Last but not least, if the Erdogan Government continues to resort to intimidation tactics in its discussions with the EU, by making unreasonable demands, the EU should as a last resort, consider suspending diplomatic relations with Turkey.
The question, however, that is also foremost on everyone's mind is "when will the EU finally come to grasp with the fact that Erdogan is really an egomaniac dictator, who is dragging not only his country but also the Middle East into further chaos ?
In dealing with the Erdogan government the EU must not only carry a carrot, but also a stick.