January 26, 2015

EU on 'parallel state' claims: ‘We don't use conspiracy theories'

What do the EU leaders think of the “parallel state” claims of the Turkish ruling party in regards to the Gülen movement (Hizmet movement)?

We don't even look at it because our politicians don't use conspiracy theories. In addition, for the EU institutions, we are talking about a non-political actor. The Gülen community is not a party -- we don't know the governance; we don't know their finances; and we don't know their program except from general statements. The EU leaders are aware of its existence but have never dealt with the Gülen community as a political interlocutor because it is not. On the other hand, the EU governments, political parties and ambassadors deal with the opposition parties as they do anywhere in the world.

The EU has called for a thorough investigation following the Dec. 17, 2013 corruption scandal. What does the end of the investigation, before it started, show?

Yes, the EU leaders have called for a thorough investigation. So far, the investigation of the Dec. 17 allegations in Turkey showed that the rule of law is at a lower level than before. The EU institutions have made a number of official statements about that.

Excerpted from the interview with former EU ambassador Marc Pierini, published on Sunday's Zaman, 25 January 2015, Sunday