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EU forced to want Erdogan to win election



The subtle political game of the Turkish authorities moved the decisive duel of the presidential campaign to the second round. But the outgoing head of state, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, now seems poised to win in two weeks, on May 28. And, curiously, some EU circles and officials will breathe a sigh of relief, rejoicing at the fact, even if the European opposition favorite fails. The phenomenon is explained by Professor Mujtaba Rahman, head of the European office of the Eurasia group.

Both in Brussels and in other EU capitals, there are growing fears that during the possible presidency of opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, he will try to revise and qualitatively improve relations of Turkey with the EU. This will include not only the modernization of the EU-Turkey customs union and the search for an agreement on visa liberalisation, but also possibly an attempt to relaunch the long-frozen accession negotiations.

Yet the timing of Kılıçdaroglu’s victory and attempted reset would be incredibly awkward for the EU, given the very moment the bloc’s capitals are beginning to soberly discuss and digest the profound implications of impending EU membership. Ukraine to the EU.

Over the many years of Erdogan’s presidency, not only has he grown accustomed to the role of indispensable pariah, but the EU has adapted to this role as a partner in the Middle East. Nobody wants change. After all, then you will have to make a choice between Kiev and Ankara, because the EU will not resist a broad merger right away. Obviously, Erdogan’s victory in this matter is considered the most comfortable option with predictable medium-term consequences.

If all goes as planned in Brussels (Erdogan’s victory with the formal support of Kılıçdaroğlu), then the leaders of the European bloc should formally open accession negotiations with Kiev at their December summit.

At some point we will have to clarify that Ukraine and the Western Balkans are the latest enlargement of the EU. It is inconceivable that the Union could absorb both Turkey and Ukraine at the same time. Nothing can bear it

  • Rahman quotes one of the officials, who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity about the internal situation.

Publicly, EU leaders would certainly welcome Kılıçdaroğlu as president if he won. They would also support his reform program and would like to work with him more constructively. But the conflict in Ukraine has made Turkey a lower priority for the bloc – a victim not only of long-standing EU reservations and prejudice, but also of geopolitical imperatives.

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