Erdoğan unveils Action Plan for Human Rights
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan presented the key points of Turkey's Human Rights Action Plan on Tuesday, which is to comprise just under 400 individual measures - including strengthening freedom of expression, women's rights and the judiciary. Yet at the same time numerous opposition politicians and journalists remain behind bars in the country. Commentators wonder how the US and the EU will respond to this charm offensive.
We all want the same thing, don't we?
Now the West has the chance to prove its noble intentions, writes the pro-government Daily Sabah:
“At a period of time when many countries are struggling to expand their liberty and freedoms amid the pandemic, the very step taken by Turkey is more than significant. Now, we, as the Turkish people, expect the 'modern West' and their organizations, such as the EU, not to play the 'boss' and establish an equal dialogue and encourage Turkish politics and public opinion in the process. This way, the very modern West can show that they really support the expansion of democracy outside of Europe. Dreaming of such a West is beautiful, isn't it?”
Religious freedom as bait
The EU and the US may play along with Erdoğan's game for their own reasons, says Yetkin Report:
“The plan pledges to finalize the regulations for the Community Foundations of the minorities [including the return of property expropriated after 1936] that started 9 years ago. ... So does the government really expect the Greek, Armenian and Jewish communities in Turkey to tell the lobbies in the U.S. and the EU to 'hold on because Turkey will expand our rights?' Would Joe Biden, the European Commission, or the EU strongholds such as Germany and France pretend that they bought this plan? I would not ignore this possibility, because unfortunately, there are few subjects used for military and interests as much as human rights.”
A joke against an all too serious background
News website In.gr comments ironically on the Turkish President's statements:
“Perhaps he wants to teach the EU and Europe that the Turkish military operations in Syria, Iraq, Libya and the Caucasus are in accordance with international law. Or that he has simply never heard about the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights regarding the release of Kurdish political prisoners or businessman Osman Kavala. ... A plan for democracy in Erdoğan's Turkey: if the situation weren't so tragic it could be the joke of the day.”