Germany cannot handle PKK

THE EDITORIAL BOARD
ISTANBUL
Published

The PKK, which is recognized as a terrorist group by the EU and U.S., has been escalating its attacks against Turkish-Germans in Germany, and the federal government's incompetence becomes more apparent with every passing day. Having found no restrictions to its aggression, the PKK naturally has created a space as a non-state actor, bullying Turkish nationals in Germany.

As a group, which it recognizes as a terrorist organization, grows in influence, attracting members and sympathizers, its capacity to project violence increases. Last week, mosques in Frankfurt and Hannover were targeted. Pro-PKK slogans were written on their walls, windows were broken and the outside of the buildings was vandalized with spray paint. PKK supporters were allowed to enter Hannover Airport, where they reached the passenger check-in area to attack those traveling to and from Turkey. They were allowed to wave the flags of a terrorist group, shouting slogans and waving flags. The police stood aside and let it happen.

Germany is now a country where people are afraid to get out of their homes to go to their mosques. Currently, it limits its targets to Germany's Turkish community, which may be the reason behind the tepid response from German law enforcement and politicians, but in the future, other people and groups may not be that lucky.

That future may not be too far away. The other day, PKK members attacked a Social Democratic Party (SPD) bureau in the Lower Saxony, announcing that they saw the German economy and politics as an active enabler of "the fascist AKP regime." Just yesterday, a group of PKK members stormed a press briefing by the spokesman of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The rest of Europe is not immune to such criminal activities. A Turkish community building was attacked last week in Stockholm. Again last week, PKK supporters protesting against Turkey attacked a taxi driver of Turkish descent in Amsterdam.

Europe, and especially Germany, by ignoring the PKK threat, is feeding it. Even German Interior Ministry spokesman Johannes Dimroth's call for action from the German judiciary against these attacks was received with silent inactivity, demonstrating the broader lack of will to fight the terrorist group. This silence is creating anxiety and dread among Turkish officials. Until now, not a single German politician condemned a PKK attack against a Muslim of Turkish descent. Silence in response to violence only encourages such groups. There is no doubt the PKK sees it that way, with its members flouting the law by openly waving flags and other symbols of a terrorist group.

Germany is playing with fire. Dithering while there are fights on German streets will not harm only Turkish-Germans, but also German rule of law. Other terrorist groups will also notice such weaknesses and move to exploit it. Once extremists and racists join in, German streets will no longer be safe to anyone. Still, German leaders, oblivious to the failing law and order, go on playing their violins.

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