German leaders should think twice before promoting anti-Turkey rhetoric

Published 07.09.2017 02:21

Anti-Turkey populism may now help German leaders to garner votes in the upcoming elections, but future generations will remember their campaign with shame

There are 15 days left until the German elections. The parties and leaders' agendas competing to be chancellor concern Turkey more than Germany.

German leaders are virtually competing in racism.

The recent swordplay between Chancellor Angela Merkel and Social Democrat candidate Martin Schulz on a television program illustrated this obsession.

"A tougher policy against Turkey should be followed," Schulz said, toning up his rhetoric. "If I become the chancellor, I will end EU accession talks with Turkey," he added.

Unfortunately, Schulz's words did not befit a social democrat politician in a country where nearly 3 million Turks (half of who have a German passport) live and his words were reiterated by his rival.

Merkel said she wants to bring the idea of ending Turkey's membership negotiations to the EU's agenda.

Let us see which German politician garners more votes from this political tension in a period when rising racism and populism have pushed even the Pope to issue a statement.

Fortunately, the EU also has prudent politicians who are aware that Germany is using them as a weapon in its bilateral relations.

Although they do not raise their voices against Germany and Merkel, who acts like the Kaiser of the union, due to political and economic reasons, they make serious warnings.

One of them is the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, one of the most important figures in Italian center-left politics.

Mogherini spoke about the demands made by German politics for the termination of accession negotiations with Turkey. Her following statements should be a lesson for everyone, and particularly for European leftist politicians who have recently tended toward populism.

"Beyond the accession talks, the EU and Turkey are partners, and sometimes the two parties can be challenging partners. But we are working together on many different files. Working with your neighbors is a must. You cannot choose geography and change history, but you can find ways to better understand each other. You can work on issues that are strategically important for both parties in a collaborative and constructive way that works for the benefit of both parties. Membership negotiations have their own criteria. The statements by different parties influence their mood on this issue, but what matters is the outcome and the steps that can be taken. We have gone through a few challenging years. In the future, I would suggest that we look beyond what is said in electoral campaigns both in Turkey and the European Union. And I am looking forward to the moment we sit together at the table and find what is going to be future of our relations."

Well, politicians running for elections in Germany may find it comfortable today to disrespect Turks and their elected president, who have deep-rooted social and cultural ties with their country.

Even though the danger they are posing cannot be understood today, future generations of Europe will remember these statements and learn a lesson from them in the future, just as the fate of Hitler's following remarks to Churchill, which were acclaimed in 1941, but are bitterly laughable now.

"For more than five years, this man has been running in Europe like a lunatic, looking for something he can catch. Unfortunately, there are always hired men who open their country's doors to this world arsonist."

Is it offensive? I do not think so.

Well, had I not told you who these remarks belong to at the beginning, how many of you would think they are Hitler's and how many of you would think they are Churchill's?

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