Electoral campaigns in Germany and lies about Turkey

Published

I really wonder what German politicians would talk about during their electoral campaigns if Turkey and Turks did not exist. It is by no means ethical to use the news reports distorted by some Germany-based media institutions for their campaigns without checking their validity. Some texts have been wrongly translated from Turkish to German, intentionally or not. They occupied captions in German newspapers, and these incorrect captions turned out to be the only subject discussed in election campaign speeches. This has undermined Turkish-German relations to a great extent while the restoration of relations seems to be getting more and more difficult with each passing day.

Recently, a Foreign Ministry statement regarding Turkish citizens traveling to Germany was manipulated. We must bear in mind that the websites of both the German and Austrian Foreign Ministries are full of warnings for their citizens traveling to Turkey. It would be useful to explain the issue that has been manipulated by some German groups with anti-Turkish sentiment. "Reisehinweis" means travel advisory in German, which is routine advice foreign ministries issue to protect citizens. These routine travel advisories only aim to prevent citizens from encountering unexpected problems. "Reisewarnung," on the other hand, which literally means "travel warning," warn travelers against visiting a country. This expression also enables travelers to cancel their plans with some legal advantages. So, "Reisenhinweis" and "Reisewarnung" are dramatically different.

Germany is on the rampage because of a mistranslation. The German media seems to have intentionally mistranslated the Foreign Ministry's travel advisory as a warning, and the German public is being misinformed on Turkey once again because of politicians abusing the situation for their campaigns. An operation to shape perceptions is targeting Turkey and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan once again.

The statement reads: "It is worrisome that German authorities did not take any measure against a chancellor candidate party leader's explicitly racist statements. Turkish citizens living in Germany also face discrimination based on their political views. Some of our citizens confront verbal assaults due to their views." Does this expression not reflect the truth? Turks who express their support to Erdoğan are subjected to affront, mobbing or exclusion from daily life in Germany.

The statement also reads: "On their arrivals in Germany, particularly in airports, Turkish citizens are frequently subjected to interrogation and disrespectful practices or are kept waiting arbitrarily by German security and customs officers."

Every Turkish citizen or German citizen of Turkish descent already knows about these practices. For instance, in the Frankfurt airport, passengers in planes departing from Turkey go through ID checks at the gates. If you are coming from Turkey, you first show your passport to police officers at the gate and after that you go through the standard passport check. So, Turks are being subjected to unjust treatment at airports with two ID checks. Also, at the customs check, officers are interrogating Turkish passengers with full bias, as if they are all traffickers. I think the Foreign Ministry's latest statement displays responsibility in informing citizens about what they might run in to.

The other parts of the statement also reflect the truth. I think the politicians slamming Turkey because of a mistranslation ought to focus on what is written in the statement because the Turks who have been living in Germany for decades or the German citizens of Turkish descent still go through the unjust treatment specified in the statement. In other words, the German politicians running their electoral campaigns are accountable for such treatment. Those overreacting when a German citizen of Turkish descent is detained in Turkey must also pay attention to the difficulties they encounter in Germany.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter