Erdogan vs Germany
During last week, Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan continued his violent attacks on Europe. In particular, he accused the German Chancellor Angela Merkel personally of using 'Nazi methods'. Speaking at a campaign rally in Denizli, Erdogan accused Europe of fascism, recalling the actions of the National Socialist underground in Germany, which murdered citizens of Turkish origin, and European mosques, desecrated by swastika images. "As long as you continue to call Tayyip Erdoğan a dictator, Tayyip Erdoğan will call you a fascist or a Nazi," the Turkish president said, referring to the European audience.
Professor Wilfried Fuhrmann from Potsdam, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, commented on the Turkish President's statements, as well as evaluated Germany's response. As the expert notes, "the principle of state loyalty is particularly problematic in strong national groups abroad, as in Germany, for example. The Turks in Germany, which are perceived as the Turkish diaspora, are required by politicians from their historical homeland to orient themselves towards Turkey and internally disassociate themselves from German society. Turkey aims to prevent the very possibility of assimilation of the Turks in Germany. The strong connection with Turkey is being strengthened and supported by such political comparisons and assessments as, for example, theses of 'Nazi methods in Germany', 'Nazi Europe' and others. "
"Of course, a certain part of such political rhetoric is due to a resentment about an unpleasant offensive verse (the scandalous poem on Jan Böhmermann's comedian show, which was aired on German public television) and the desire to 'take revenge'. But there is a serious difference between those making such an insulting statement: an ordinary citizen, a comedian, or a president Erdogan's offensive remarks against Germany and Chancellor Angela Merkel are either an expression of political and historical ignorance, or an authorized cliff in relations between the two countries," Wilfried Fuhrmann believes.
At the same time, the professor drew attention to the fact that in the case of Erdogan's statements addressed to Angela Merkel, it is not only a personal insult, but also a massive vilification of the representative institution of Germany. And this should not be forgotten at any political calculation. According to Fuhrmann, the German government has not shown the necessary rigor in its response to Erdogan's statements, although Germany did not have rational political reasons for such softness. "Does anyone seriously believe that a NATO member, which made such comparisons and accusations, will turn away from NATO because of the strict requirement to make personal apologies and become instead an ally of Russia? Or that it will sever the economic relations because of this?" the expert wonders.
"In general, Germany's spineless reaction, instead of strong protest, has consequences. Loss of reputation and the aggravated unwillingness of Turks to integrate in Germany are huge! Because the Turkish president deliberately appeals to the Turkish national pride when underlines that Turkey with its 80 millionth population is as big as Germany, and has a better democracy. A significant part of people (and not just 5.6 million of European Turks eligible to vote in the referendum) do not see or do not want to see this (self)deception. In addition, it also deals a blow to the institution of the Chancellor in the country," Professor Wilfried Fuhrmann sums up.