German democracy took a lesser blow thanks to Turkey

Published 25.09.2017 21:42

Unfortunately, Sept. 24 will be remembered as a black day in European and German history because on this day some politicians, who blatantly used racist remarks and expressed their support for Neo-Nazism, were elected to the Bundestag as deputies.

The Alternative for Germany (AfD), which has a number of politicians who employed racist and Neo-Nazi rhetoric in their election campaign, is the third largest party in the federal parliament after Sunday's elections.

If the Social Democratic Party (SPD) had ventured to form a grand coalition after their defeat, the AfD would have been the main opposition party. At least this will not happen, which consoles us to some extent.

I have stressed a number of times that the electorate always chooses the original follower of a view, and I have, unfortunately, in this case, turned out to be right. The anti-Turkish discourse adopted by the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the SPD and the Greens throughout the election campaign only increased the vote share of the AfD, dealing a major blow to German democracy.

SPD chancellor candidate Schulz, Foreign Minister Gabriel, Justice Minister Maas and Greens co-chair Özdemir pestered the German electorate with their remarks against Turkey and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, although Germany did not have any problem either with Turkey or Erdoğan. They misinformed the German public about Turkey and turned them against it, which was a fatal mistake. By doing so German politicians only served the racist and Neo-Nazi propaganda carried out against Muslims and refugees in the country.

I would also like to underline the fact that if it were not for Turkey and Erdoğan, the AfD would have claimed around 20 percent of the votes. In that case, even Merkel could not have guaranteed her chancellor's position. If there were no agreement on refugees between Turkey and the European Union, and if Turkey had not fulfilled all the requirements of that deal, the election results would have been much different and more alarming than it is today.

The AfD, which has now received around 13 percent of the votes by abusing refugees and manipulating the German government's mistakes, could have received even more votes had the refugee deal not been signed.

Even though some of our German friends would not want to accept this, but Erdoğan has prevented German democracy from taking an even worse blow. As a matter of fact, they should thank Turkey and Erdoğan for preventing the racist discourse in Germany from going out of control by being respectful to the refugee agreement.

A new era is about to begin in Germany. We will see how long it will take for Merkel to hold coalition meetings with the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Greens. We will also see to what extent the Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU) will agree to the demands of the Greens and will Merkel, as the chancellor of a four-party coalition government, be able to maintain her power?

In addition, how German democracy copes with this difficult period where a party like the AfD will join parliamentary committees and influence Germany's most crucial issues. Many deputies of the party, especially those who have problems with democracy, will get an opportunity to exert control over institutions assigned to protect democracy.

Considering German criticism of Turkish Parliament and its measures against a party connected to the outlawed PKK, we will now see what kind of steps the Bundestag will take towards the AfD, which has problems with democracy.

The fact is German democracy needs to be protected; thus, it will be no surprise if some of the rules in the Bundestag are changed.

I remain on the same side with German democrats in defending its democracy. It is imperative that we also take a stance against all forms of racism. Muslims in Germany, especially the Turks, are rightfully worried about the election results. Muslim Germans of Turkish descent will also stand beside German democrats and fight racism within the framework of the German constitution.

In a time when the AfD is heading for the Bundestag, it is important that Turkey-Germany relations are well taken care of and are not allowed to worsen further. The new German government will have a major responsibility on this matter.

Hopefully, German politics and media will learn from the Sept. 24 election results.

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