Press Releases


Erdogan at the European Championships match

“Showing of the wolf salute would be a targeted affront that cannot be accepted!”

On the occasion of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to the European Championship quarter-finals in Berlin on Saturday (July 6), the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) demanded German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to speak plainly to the Turkish President through diplomatic channels.

“Erdoğan should refrain from any messages, gestures, or statements that could provoke people of different ethnicities, religious communities, and cultures. Chancellor Scholz should make this unequivocally clear before the European Championship match. If Erdoğan does not agree to this, Scholz and the entire German government will have to officially uninvite him,” demanded Kamal Sido, the STP’s Middle East Consultant, in Göttingen today. 

“Presidents of other states should not be allowed to jeopardize peaceful coexistence in Germany. The showing of the wolf salute would be a targeted affront that should not be accepted,” Sido emphasized. “Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser was right to demand consequences for players or fans who display the right-wing extremist wolf salute. This must also apply to the Turkish President – and be enforced, if necessary. Not even politicians should be allowed to use German stadiums as a platform for racism and hatred.”

“If Erdoğan were to show the wolf salute in Berlin, the German Federal Government should agree on clear consequences,” the human rights advocate emphasized.

In Turkey, it is not uncommon for Turkish politicians to show the wolf salute occasionally, as a means of mobilizing the nationalists for their policies. The political arm of the Grey Wolves, the ultranationalist MHP party, is one of the coalition partners of Erdoğan’s AKP party.

Many Turkish politicians are angry about the criticism towards Merih Demiral and about the investigations initiated by UEFA. “It is not wrong to criticize the situation of the Turkish Community in Germany – racism must not be tolerated. However, Turkish politicians who point the finger at Germany must stay honest. Many Alevis and German citizens with Turkish or Kurdish roots only feel free in Germany, and follow their religious beliefs and traditions without fear. The same is true for Assyrians/Aramaeans and Armenians,” the Middle East expert added.