Erdogan's appearance in Cologne is clearly part of an election campaign by a nationalist tactitian

Turkish Prime Minister expected in Germany (May 24, 2014)

According to the Society for Threatened Peoples in Göttingen, the planned visit of the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to Cologne on May 24, 2014, is clearly "part of an election campaign by a nationalist tactitian". On Friday, the human rights organization criticized: "Someone who tries to separate the society, to agitate against Kurds, Armenians, Greeks, Alevis, Christians, Yazidis and also against moderate Muslims – and also lets Islamists from all over the world travel through to Syria – should not be able to advertise his politics in Germany." 

"Not only does Erdogan suppress and harass the ethnic and religious minorities in Turkey because they don't seem to fit into his idea of a nation – he also tries to cover up the corruption and ignores the basic rules of democracy, the freedom of the press and the rule of law," said the STP's Secretary General, Tilman Zülch. "Apparently, the Turkish Prime Minister doesn't think it is necessary to meet the families of the 301 victims of the mining disaster in Soma, but would rather go on a promotion-tour to Germany. His political mission is clear: Erdogan is trying to mobilize his supporters in Germany for the Turkish presidential election in early August."

According to the STP, the behavior of the Turkish security forces at the border to Syria is reason enough to criticize Erdogan's politics sharply. Despite some official reports that try to suggest otherwise, the human rights organization stated that the Turkish government has already stopped several humanitarian aid shipments to three of the largely autonomous Kurdish cantons in northern Syria during the recent months. Many Christian people have sought refuge there too. However, Turkey does approve of arms deals with Islamist fanatics in Syria. Moreover, Ankara wants to build a 300-mile-long wall to close down the border to its neighboring country.

On August 10, Turkish-born voters living abroad will be able to vote in the presidential elections in Turkey for the first time – and there are about 1.5 million living in Germany. In 2008, Erdogan had warned his countrymen in Germany not to adapt. He stated: "Assimilation is a crime against humanity!" Two years later, he had demanded schools for Turkish immigrants in Germany. However, there is not a single native language school for the 15 million Kurdish citizens who have been living in Turkey for a long time already. 

Dr. Kamal Sido, head of STP's Middle East department, is available for further questions: +49 551 499 06 18 or nahost@gfbv.de.