Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stirred up the whole Europe against him not only by defying other governments objections but also by calling everyone who does not meet his demands as “Nazi”. The Turkish president targeted Germany and the Netherlands after the two countries cancelled rallies on Turkish referendum on their soil.
German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle interviewed Istanbul correspondent Cigdem Akyol on Erdogan’s Nazi statements as well as on his complicated relations with press.
“Erdogan is no longer recognizable as the reformer he once was,” his biographer in the article “From reformer to tyrant: The strategy behind Erdogan’s ‘Nazi’ accusations”
DW: When the election campaigns of Turkish ministers were canceled in Germany, Erdogan spoke of “Nazi practices” in Germany. Were the Nazi comparisons, in your opinion, serious or rather a strategy to get attention?
CA: His absurd accusations are part of an electoral campaign. This inner unrest, which is now growing in Germany, as far as the German-Turkish relationship is concerned, is beneficial to Erdogan. He is fishing for the right target for his presidential system and he needs the voices of the nationalists – that is why he is playing the nationalist tune once again.
The more German politicians and the public react to it, the more he benefits from it. And that’s why he’s so hot on it at the moment. One shouldn’t actually fall for this scam. My tip: Stay objective and polite, and put the finger in the wound in a natural way.
DW: In your opinion, which wound is it most important to touch at the moment?
CA: The dismantling of whatever’s left of democracy in Turkey. Berlin and Europe must be very clear that no more opposition politicians be imprisoned, that the few free, critical journalists in Turkey do not have to fear for their lives, that the rule of law is no longer eluded and that the division of power is preserved.
Cigdem Akyol (38) lives in Istanbul and works as a correspondent for the Austrian news agency APA. She was born in Germany and is of Turkish-Kurdish heritage. Her unauthorized biography on Erdogan was published in 2016.
On 18. June 1941, German ambassador Franz von Papen and Turkish Foregin Minister Şükrü Saracoğlu signed the German-Turkish Friendship Treaty in Ankara
In full solidarity with the Netherlands, German conservative newspaper Die Welt reminded Erdogan:
“The Netherlands were a victim of Hitler while Turkey was an ally of the national socialists”
PS As much as I know Erdogan he will blame the Kemalists for the Nazi Germany-Turkey Treaty. Not that he will feel the need to respond….
Erdogan has gone full ape although he is not a fool. Of course this is all tactics to become full dictator. He dreams of restoring the Ottoman Empire. As any old dictator, he will first completely put his dominance over every aspect of society in Turkey before he ventures outside. Countries in Europe will need to brace themselves for actions by the Trojan horse that is the Turkish community in their countries.