In the words of Victor Meldrew, “I can’t believe it!”
A few days ago, Britain agreed on a £100m defence deal, to help develop fighter jets for the Turkish air force. Theresa May said the defence agreement “underlines once again that Britain is a great, global, trading nation”.
It may emphasise that Britain is a great trading nation, but it might show that we are none too careful about how we choose our friends.
Apparently, this deal will pave the way for a deeper defence partnership. This is a week when the world appears to have gone mad over a 90-day ban on travel from seven counties.
Turkey in my opinion is one step away from being a dictatorship. Open Doors rates Turkey as the 29th worst country for the persecution of Christians.
According to Amnesty International this last year, “Respect for freedom of expression deteriorated. Countless unfair criminal prosecutions, including under criminal defamation and anti-terrorism laws, targeted political activists, journalists and others critical of public officials or government policy. Ordinary citizens were frequently brought before the courts for social media posts.” and “The right to peaceful assembly continued to be limited in law and denied in practice,” furthermore, “Impunity persisted for human rights abuses committed by public officials.”
I am not at all sure that Turkey is the sort of country that Britan should be entering into contracts to supply with arms.
I am very certain that we should be looking into this much more closely than a 90-day ban on travel.