West urges Turkish government restraint after botched coup


In a plea that’s unlikely to be respected by Turkey’s increasingly dictatorial president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, European politicians and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry have called on Turkey to respect the rule of law amid a purge of state institutions in the aftermath of the  botched coup.

Mr. Kerry told a news government: “We …urge the government of Turkey to uphold the highest standards of respect for the nation’s democratic institutions and the rule of law. We will certainly support bringing the perpetrators of the coup to justice but we also caution against a reach that goes well beyond that.”

As Turkish authorities consider restoring the death penalty for those either in the coup or simply those whom Mr. Erdogan deems political enemies, the E.U. has warned that for Turkey to restore the death penalty would doom its {already probably doomed attempts} to join the E.U. Turkey’s increasingly authoritarian government and Islamist tendencies make it an unlikely member of a group of open, secular democracies.

To read a Guardian article on this, please hit this link.



Leaders of 4 E.U. nations warn they will push back against more integration


In the wake of the British vote to leave the European Union, Poland, the Czech Republic,  Hungary  and Slovakia are  prepared to push back  against the efforts of Germany for more integration of EU. member states.

The push-backers are worried about being marginalized as Germany, no longer having to share space in the E.U. with Britain, a major economic power,  might gain even more authority in the multinational organization. Britain has been a strong friend and ally of the four nations as they try to get the best deals for themselves within the E.U. Further, they, like the British, strongly support curbs on immigration into the E.U. in particular and into their nations in particular.

Note, of course, that there’s an outside chance that the U.K. won’t leave the E.U. after all.

“The genuine concerns of our citizens need to be better reflected,” the group’s four prime ministers said in a joint statement  last week, in which they called for  the E.U.’s executive power to be restrained. “Instead of endless theoretical debates on ‘more Europe’ or ‘less Europe’, we need to focus on ‘better Europe’,” they wrote.

To read The Guardian article on this, please hit this link.

Blame European leaders for Brexit’s popularity

(June 21st, 2016) Clive Crook writes that if the British vote on June 23 to leave the European Union, much of the blame can be put on Europe’s leaders for not doing enough to help “stay’’ backer Prime Minister David Cameron make his case.


Mr. Crook writes:

“Europe’s other leaders could and should have helped him. They should have recognized him as an ally — and in doing so would have strengthened the European project. Certainly … they recognize their interest in keeping Britain in. And they surely understand that Europe as a whole needs to change – that anti-EU sentiment is on the rise in many other countries.

“Yet they sent Cameron away from his vaunted renegotiation with too little. And the tone of their response was even more damaging than the lack of substance. The message came through loud and clear: It isn’t Britain’s place to tell Europe how to change.’’

To read Mr. Crook’s column, please hit this link.

Turkey misses deadline for E.U. travel deal


Amidst fears about Islamist mass-murderers getting into the European Union via Turkey, that nation has missed a E.U. deadline that if Turkey had met it would have  allowed its citizens  visa-free travel through most of Europe.

E.U. leaders had conditionally promised the Turkish government that 79 million Turks would get access to Europe’s 26-country border-free Schengen travel zone by this month, as part of a controversial bargain on migration. But that depended on Turkey meeting 72 E.U. conditions on border security and fundamental human rights, including changes to increasingly authoritarian Turkey’s tough anti-terrorism laws.

Intensifying European worries is that Islamist terrorists can sometimes make their way from Syria and Iraq across Turkey and then into Europe.

Still, E.U. officials are expected to approve the opening of negotiations on one part of Turkish E.U. membership talks, which some people call a charade.

For the full story, please hit this link.

Cohen: Collapse of the E.U. would be a catastrophe


Roger Cohen warns in The New York Times of the perils that lie just ahead with what he sees as the terrifying possibility that the European Union could collapse if the United Kingdom decides to leave the E.U.

Mr. Cohen implied that would make Russian President /Dictator Vladimir Putin and would-be tyrants in central Europe very happy.

Mr. Cohen concluded:

….I listened the other evening at the American Academy in Berlin as Henry Kissinger, the personification of realpolitik, insisted that the “necessity of the coherence of the Atlantic world” had become ‘even greater.’ With him was the American ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, the recipient of this year’s Kissinger Prize — and long the personification of liberal interventionist idealism. In many ways they formed a strange duo. But their togetherness was also a statement: That, until now, America’s postwar European and internationalist commitment has held across the foreign policy spectrum.

“Realpolitik and idealism meet in the unity of Europe. The unthinkable, on both sides of the Atlantic, must be resisted before it is too late.’’

For the full column, hit this link.

Turkish leader’s dictatorship trend kills chances for E.U. membership by ’20


Turkey’s increasingly dictatorial president, Recep Erdogan, has destroyed his nation’s chances of joining the European Union by 2020, as some had hoped, for pushing through a new law aimed a destroying parliamentary opposition to Mr. Erdoğan’s ruling neo-Islamist Justice and Development party (AKP) by encouraging politically inspired, criminal prosecutions of anti-government legislators.

The E.U.’s rules demand that all applicant states must adhere to democratic governance and uphold such other basic principles as the rule of law, human rights, including freedom of speech, and protection of minorities.  President Erdogan now bitterly calls the E.U. “a Christian club.’’

For more details, hit this link.

Merkel urges U.K. to stay in E.U.

(June 6th, 2016) Suggesting growing anxiety about the United Kingdom’s possible exit from the European Union, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned Britain that nations “at the bargaining table” negotiate better deals than those “outside the room”.


Mrs. Merkel emphasized that it was up to the British people, but she hoped that Britain would vote to stay in the E.U. in the referendum on June 23.

She said that Britain was “part and parcel” of the E.U. and was of “benefit to all of us”.

“Brexit’’ campaigners said staying in the E.U. might be in Germany’s interest but that “does not mean it’s in the U.K.’s interest”.

German sources were saying privately just a few weeks ago that Mrs. Merkel wasn’t planning to say anything about the referendum.