Political scientist: The EU needs to establish a new relationship with Turkey
Concerns are being voiced around Europe regarding Turkey’s future course in the wake of Sunday’s referendum which gave President Erdogan sweeping new powers. The country’s membership in NATO and crucial role in stemming the flow of migrants to Europe leaves many questions unanswered. I spoke to Radko Hokovský, head of the Prague-based European Values Think Tank, and began by asking him how the vote would affect Turkey’s relations with the EU.
Turkey is a member of NATO. How may it affect cooperation on that level?
“I hope it will not affect cooperation with NATO, because the alliance and partnership with Turkey in defence matters is really vital. And in fact, there were cases in the past of NATO member states which were not fully liberal democracies, for example Portugal or Greece in the 1960s. So the change of the political system is not so vital for NATO, what is vital is the foreign and security policy. So the turning point in relations between NATO and Turkey would be a significant change in Turkey’s policy towards Russia. This is worrying because Mr. Erdogan is trying to improve and strengthen relations with Russia maybe more than the other allies would like to see. But for the time being it does not seem that Mr. Erdogan wants to significantly change the country’s foreign policy.”
Turkey has been an ally in the migration crisis- has the EU now lost that ally?