Tuesday, March 7, 2017
While opposition in Turkey itself is banned, silenced and prohibited, the Turkish government is using the right to campaign in Western Europe. And as always with communication from the AK Party side, the campaign and tone is very aggressive and anti-European.
Next month, a referendum will take place in Turkey in order to confirm the newest constitutional changes in Ankara. With this confirmation, Erdogan's dictatorship will be ‘legalized’ by the Turkish constitution. AK politicians are using their power and influence to let Turkish people who live abroad, vote in the referendum. Lots of rallies are planned in Germany, The Netherlands, the UK, etc.
About 3 million Turkish citizens are living in Germany so AK-ministers will travel to Germany in the coming weeks as well - even though a few of the AK meetings have been cancelled due to measures from the German government. In reply to these cancellations, Erdogan responded that these actions reminded him of ‘Nazi-practices’. And he added: "My brothers; now they think that Tayyip Erdogan will come to Germany. I will come tomorrow if I want to. I will come and when they won't let me enter or don't let me talk, I will set the whole world in an uproar."
A spokesperson of the German government wisely said that we need ‘cool heads’ when such insults are being made. Again, the economic ties were mentioned. No further actions or measures were announced thus far.
ECPM and its partners are wondering how many more warnings European countries need before the EU stops the negotiations on EU-membership. We are dealing with a regime that uses the strongest possible terms as soon as the European partners are not fully working with Erdogan’s attempts to become the only and almighty dictator in the biggest country between Europe and the Middle East. It’s a very unwelcome perspective when Turkish voters vote ‘yes’ on the 16th of April. European countries should do as much as possible to limit the risks for EU countries - instead of extending the diplomatic ties with Turkey any further.