Germany permitted PKK march in Frankfurt, barred Turkish rallies in Germany and denied FETÖ involvement in Turkey coup attempt. Will these steps help “Yes” camp in Turkish referendum or “No” camp?
It is as clear as a sunny day that all these German actions will provoke nationalistic feelings in Turkey and increase support for “Yes” camp.
PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and even European Union, to which Germany is a founding member. Turkish nationalist party, MHP, is also supporting the referendum for constitutional change. It is not only unacceptable for Turks, it is also against commonsense, reason and logic.
There are two possibilities: Germans are unaware of the consequences of the policies that they are following (which is not the case) or they are deliberately supporting Justice and Development Party agenda. Germany cannot be against “Yes” camp in general and against President Erdoğan in particular.
German authorities were very well aware that blocking planned rallies by Turkish government ministers or politicians from addressing Turkish voters, allowing nearly 10,000 PKK supporters march in the heart of their country and understating FETÖ factor behind coup attempt in Turkey would increase “Yes” votes for referendum.
So why Germany is following these policies? Is there a secret agreement between AK Party government (President Erdoğan) and Germany? Or they are truly not capable of calculating consequences of their policy?
On the one hand, you would not let elected Turkish politicians even talk and on the other hand, you will let a terrorist group shout slogans insulting the Turkish state. Which logic can expect a decrease in “Yes” votes.
There is another option that comes to my mind: President Erdoğan once had said that the time had come for him to exhibit his master-hood in politics. Maybe he truly became a political master full of wisdom who can use “apprentice” politicians to his own ends. Because every move step Germany takes is doing nothing but consolidating President Erdoğan’s stand.
In the simplest meaning of the word, it would be extremely naive to think that PKK meeting would help some Turks make up their minds and vote for “No” in the referendum. Similarly, it would be ignorance to expect that the “Yes” camp would not use it as a strong nationalistic instrument for convincing voters.
There are some groups in Turkey who are are not comfortable under the conservative Party of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and share the following concerns: Where is the country leading under this government? Are we moving away from EU and Western democratic values? Is the referendum making us more undemocratic… etc. When it comes to patriotism and when the homeland is the case; most of the Turks unite in solidarity. Those who are not sure which camp to vote in referendum will certainly prefer patriotic stand. I believe Germans made a mistake if they bet on this option.
From a completely different approach, for Germany, maybe Europe (or EU) is a big and delicious pie and does not want to share it with Turkey. Or they want to establish a strong EU with a strong European identity around religious values and they want to see Turkey as the relevant other of European identity. So they deliberately want to push Turkey away from EU and everything related to EU.
What ever the reason, their current political stand certainly serves President Erdoğan’s interests.
Check two statements by Turkish officials and see how the German policies have served government discourse:
Written statement by Turkish presidential spokesman: “it is not possible to explain for German authorities to claim that Turkey’s elected representatives’ meeting with their citizens is dangerous, but treating terrorists as legitimate actors. It is clearly supporting terrorism. Those, who try to explain this hostile attitude with freedom of expression and assembly, should act seriously.”
Statement released by Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “Allowing terrorist group to shout slogans about the upcoming referendum in our country while preventing Turkish deputies from meeting Turkish community in Germany is a grave example of double standards”.