The Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) is definitely against the racist movement called Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (PEGIDA), which emerged in Dresden, Germany and expanded throughout Europe. All social democratic parties in Europe that are Socialist International members condemn PEGIDA, which is quite natural, since it cannot be expected from social democrats, who claim to follow the path of Willy Brandt, to support a racist movement that plants seeds of hate by shouting out racist slogans, particularly against Muslims and refugees.
European Parliament President Martin Schulz is one of my dearest social democratic friends. I have known him in person for years. I am very familiar with his sincere stance against racism.
While Schulz has never supported PEGIDA, someone must have misinformed him, because somehow,he is supporting the Republican People's Party (CHP), which is the Turkish counterpart of PEGIDA. This is an unfortunate case in the name of social democracy.
Just as Germany's PEGIDA, France's National Front and various racist parties in Europe do in elections, the CHP is also trying to increase its vote through its propaganda that preaches against refugees. The CHP's election campaign as part of the upcoming June 7 general elections targets the thousands of Syrian refugees in Turkey. At its rallies, the CHP constantly emphasizes that it will expel the refugees from the country as an election promise, just like the European racist parties state.
The CHP, which is also against Turkey's efforts to protect human rights on behalf of the entire world by reacting against the tyranny of the dictatorial Syrian president, Bashar Assad, exercised on his people, also contradicts EU values with this attitude. Supporting Assad and promising to expel Syrian refugees who fled Assad's tyranny only to ingratiate itself with him, the CHP is both a disgrace to Socialists International and also in a position that cannot be approved by those who advocate EU values and the fight against racism.
The misdeeds of the CHP, a party which discriminates between Alevis and Sunnis, are not limited to supporting a dictator who is murdering thousands of Syrians, and does not want the Syrian refugees in Turkey only because majority of them are Sunnis.
The CHP is strongly opposed to the reconciliation process, which has ceased mothers' tears and formed a ground for brotherly coexistence of Turks and Kurds.
As a social democrat who worked at the European Parliament for years with Schulz, I cannot bear the thought that Schulz, an esteemed figure whom I respect, supports the CHP, which exerts a special effort in order to block the reconciliation process along with the two ethno-nationalist parties, namely the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).
But I can see why the anti-Turkey groups in Europe, the forces objecting to Turkey's EU membership, the circles having problems with Muslims and radical right movements in Europe support the CHP and react against the Syrian refugees in Turkey.
Someone should remind Schulz and other social democratic Europeans who support the CHP of the fact that the CHP was responsible for the Dersim Massacre, the greatest massacre of Kurds in the history of modern Turkey, and the greatest oppressions and torments imposed on Alevis. But it has never attempted any self-criticism so far. It has always tried to exploit Alevis as potential voters as well.
Being a member of the Socialist International, unfortunately, cannot save any party from adopting ethno-nationalist or racist identities, as we see with the CHP.
Supporting the CHP, Turkey's PEGIDA, contradicts all the values we and the EU try to embrace.
I do not want to believe that any European social democrat with a conscience can support a party that exercises the above-mentioned dishonorable policies.
Those against Islamophobia, ethno-nationalism and movements such as PEGIDA also bear a responsibility to take a stance against the CHP.