In an interview in 2010 with the German newspaper “Die Zeit”, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan asked for the establishment of Turkish high schools in Germany. The almost three million Turks living in Germany would first have to master their own language, says Erdogan. This is a demand of the Turkish Prime Minister, whose government does not allow schools for the 15 million Kurds in Turkey, in which the children could be taught in their mother tongue.
And such demands are the insults of the Turkish chauvinist, who in 2008 recommended in a propaganda-speech in Cologne to his Turkish countrymen very half-hearted an integration into the German society, and in the same breath he demagogically called the “assimilation”, demanded in Germany by nobody, “a crime against humanity”.
Later Erdogan warned again of the “assimilation” and turned sharply against the required knowledge of the German language for the settlement of family members of Turkish migrants in Germany: “Whoever defines German knowledge as the most important prerequisite violates human rights.” And Erdogan went so far with his rude behaviour, which violated decency and the right of hospitality, that he repeated his dumb demand that Turks in Germany should first teach their children Turkish and then German – and thereafter failing to finish school. Erdogan behaved as if he spoke as a Sultan in a Turkish province.
When the NATO-partner Germany stationed patriot missiles in Turkey to protect the airspace of Turkey against Syrian missiles, the German defense commissioner noted serious shortcomings in the accommodation of German soldiers provided by the Turkish military. There were also fundamental tensions with the population as well as with the Turkish military, and the attitude of the Turkish camp commander against a German female soldier, even to the point of attack. Regarding the official flagging of the camp with the flags of Germany, Turkey and NATO, there were problems because the German flag should not be shown and the German commander was not allowed to wear his uniform outside the camp. Turkey has proved itself as a very bad and most unfriendly host. Despite all that we call Turkey a NATO-“partner”.
In this context, the lack of solidarity of the NATO-“partner” Turkey must be mentioned with the withdrawal of German troops from Afghanistan. Turkey did not initially want to allow the German Forces to load armed vehicles into ships in the port of Trabzon in northern Turkey. Only containers and unarmed vehicles should be changed over. This would have meant that tanks and guns would have to be transported directly to Germany only by air and at a considerably higher cost. This highly unfriendly approach could be cleansed only with great effort and “concessions”.
Germany has stationed reconnaissance aircraft in the context of the war of the international coalition against the Islamic State on the airbase Incirlic. Turkey has temporarily refused to let German politicians visit the German soldiers. The visit ban was only relaxed, when investments in the base Incirlic were promised.
When the Bundestag last year, with a large majority, qualified the mass murder of up to 1.5 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in 1915 as genocide, there have been numerous threats up to even killing threats against deputies with Turkish family background and President Erdogan denounced German-Turkish Members of Parliament because of their voting in the Bundestag as a prolonged arm of the forbidden Kurdish PKK-terrorists and demanded that their blood be tested in the laboratory. This was not enough; the wanting-to-be-Sultan Erdogan even insults Germany as a “Home of terrorists”
However, Erdogan does not leave it with these insults, he really acts against the democratically constituted Federal Republic. The Turkish intelligence agency MIT has, according to non-denied reports, deployed 500 full-time agents in Germany, which provide about 6000 informers. Thus the MIT as a Turkish foreign service to monitor the Turkish citizens in Germany has created a denser network than the horrible Stasi in the former GDR. And it must be assumed that the MIT not only monitors and, if necessary, puts pressure on Turkish citizens, but also on critical German citizens with an immigration background. MPs from the German Bundestag can report this from first hand. And it must be assumed that all of the Turkey-critical citizens living in Germany are systematically observed by MIT. This is a massive threat to Germany´s internal security.
Germany’s largest Islam Association DITIB has in the meantime admitted that imams were used as snoopers of the Turkish state against members of the Gülen-movement. DITIB apologized.
The political spokesman for religious matters of the Greens in the German Parliament, Beck, had already filed a criminal complaint with the prosecutor’s office in December in this case because of the suspicion of espionage to the detriment of the Federal Republic of Germany. This suspicion has now been confirmed several times. That the Secretary General of DITIB, Bekir Alboga, later speaks of an error and tries to row back and is probably rather mendacious. DITIB imams are Turkish state officials. They are sent and paid by Ankara. The chairmen of the DITIB national associations are usually the religious attachés in the Turkish consulates and thus the direct superiors of the imams. They have received the above-mentioned instructions from the Turkish religious presidency Diyanet – certainly on behalf of Erdogan – and, of course, carried out dutifully.
Now, the cancellation of election campaign-speeches by Turkish minister in German cities caused heated Turkish indignations. The Turkish Minister of Justice, Bekir Bozdag, says: “It is a scandal decision and a decision that violates diplomatic courtesy.” He even sees the denial as “literally a fascist approach”. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu immediately threatened Germany with consequences. “If they want to work with us, they have to learn how to behave towards us.” And, of course, Turkey will respond “without hesitation by any means”. Threats and blackmail are just normal Turkish political torture tools.
That is not enough for the chauvinist Erdogan. He accuses the German authorities of Nazi methods: “Your practices do not differ from the earlier Nazi practices,” and he that Germany had nothing to do with democracy. And he is denouncing the German-Turkish correspondent of the German newspaper “Welt” Deniz Yücel as terrorist and accusing him of espionage. “As a representative of the PKK, as a German agent, this person has been hiding in the German consulate for a month.”
The Turkish verbal attacks are difficult to bear, and the predominant submission of the German government is almost embarrassing.
Foreign Minister Gabriel warns of further escalation because denying talks is not good politics in his eyes. But it can also not be the policy of a self-conscious and strong democracy to keep discussion channels open mostly in order to be offended and badly slandered.
Despite all that, SPD faction leader Oppermann promotes tolerance and granting freedom of mind and speech to Turkish politicians. Only the CDU parliamentarian Bosbach and the CSU interior expert Uhl speak out publicly and clearly for a Redeverbot. Uhl makes it clear that the German legal system never knew “unrestricted freedom of speech” of foreign politicians. “We grant freedom of assembly, freedom of speech and freedom of expression to all those who are on the ground of the free-democratic constitution.” And Uhl added, “But we are fighting against the enemies of democracy, we do not give them freedom of assembly.”
Some of the partners in the EU are more courageous and more consistent in this respect and show more attitude than German government representatives – above all Chancellor Merkel.
Prime Minister Rutte declares Turkish election campaign in the Netherlands as undesirable. And Austria’s Chancellor Kern has expressed the opinion that the electoral campaigns of Turkish politicians across the EU should be prohibited. Thus, some EU countries would not come under pressure from Turkey. He also called for an immediate end to the EU-accession talks for Turkey because: “President Erdogan must finally return to the ground of the rule of law, from which he has already moved far and further away.” And he adds that Turkey tramples on human rights and fundamental democratic rights and that freedom of the press is an alien word in the country on the Bosporus. Refreshing clear and politically matching words!
The considerable tensions between Germany and Turkey should not be glossed over by false harmony, but should be overcome by a fair but consistent and self-confident political debate. The constant subjugation of German politicians, which appears to be creepy, is difficult to bear, is interpreted as a weakness by egocentric chauvinists such as Erdogan – and the congenial Putin – and is politically exploited.
Germany has to go back to an upright gait with a touch of political pride!