In what may be one of its most critical annual reports on Turkey to date, the EU warns the candidate country to beware of democratic backsliding, citing its worrying track record with regard to rule of law and rights and freedoms. It also highlights heated foreign policy disagreements.
Internet and media freedoms continue to decline in Turkey under strict control of President Erdogan’s government stated Gurkan Ozturan from the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) in FeniksPod’s latest episode.
Only 19 of Kosovo’s 31 embassies abroad currently have ambassadors. This marks a significant failure on the part of the government just as the country needs diplomatic strength to fortify its position as an independent state.
While Montenegro, a tiny Balkan country on Adriatic coast, was hit by violent events and political crises evoked by the new head of the Serbian church in Montenegro, Metropolitan Joanikije’s ceremony in Cetinje, the former capital city of the country we spoke to Ljubomir Filipovic, Executive Coordinator of Civil Initiative May 21 and a political analyst at Café del Montenegro.
With the 2016 EU-Turkey refugee deal coming to an end, the next agreement should be more comprehensive as Turkey grapples with an influx of Afghan refugees amid domestic economic downturn and a wave of political polarization that places refugees front and center.
Relations between Turkey and the West have been eroded by years of crises, and Turkish President Erdogan’s recent attempts at rapprochement have their limits. Still, while Turkey may be drifting further away from the US, European-Turkish relations have remained remarkably resilient.
Amid deepening economic crisis, domestic and foreign policy disarray, and the decline of public support for Turkey’s strongman president, discussions on what a Turkey without Erdogan could/should look like are becoming more prevalent. Still, many experts agree that the end of Erdogan’s rule in and of itself wouldn’t usher in an era of democracy, especially without the opposition’s adoption of a pluralist approach.
Just a few days after the deadly attack on offices of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish party, the Constitutional Court accepted an indictment seeking the closure of the party. But what would a closure mean for the role of Kurdish politics in Turkey’s future?
Croatia’s Mozemo!, “We can!”, movement has won local elections in the capital of Zagreb after their surprising success in general elections last year, going to show that a new generation of leftist politicians may be the greatest hope for overthrowing Europe’s populist strongmen.
Turkey has become an adversarial partner of the EU as the result of several international disagreements and the worsening state of Turkish democracy under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Still, both parties are signaling for new cooperation based on mutual interests in fields such as migration and the economy.