Almost half of Germans disapprove of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s impending visit to Germany, scheduled to start on 17 November. This visit, his first official one to the country in half a decade, is being met with significant opposition due to his remarks on Hamas, which conflict with the practice of the EU, the US, and other nations that classify the group as a terrorist organisation.
A recent poll by YouGov indicates that almost half of the German population is against President Erdoğan visiting Germany. Forty-five percent of respondents favour withdrawing the invitation, while 32% agree that the visit should go ahead. Of those surveyed, nearly a quarter did not express an opinion.
Erdoğan’s remarks on 25 October, when he stated, “Hamas is not a terrorist organisation, but a liberation grup, a mujahideen group fighting to protect their land and citizens,” have led to diplomatic tensions. Following this statement, Israel withdrew all its diplomats from Turkey.
A ‘Great Palestine Rally’ was held at Istanbul Atatürk Airport on 28 October, at which Erdoğan further defended Hamas and criticised Western nations for the situation in Gaza.
The meeting between Erdoğan and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on 17 November in Berlin aims to discuss Turkey-Germany relations as well as regional and global developments. Various Turkish ministers will also attend the visit.
In a coinciding event, Kurds and their allies in Germany plan to protest on 18 November against the 30-year ban on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The Lift the PKK Ban (PKK Verbot Aufheben) initiative, supported by the Association of Democratic Lawyers (Vereinigung Demokratischer Juristinnen und Juristen), calls for the lifting of the PKK ban, criticising it as a “black mark” on German democracy and a concession to Turkey. They demand amnesty for PKK members and supporters, removal of the PKK from the EU terror list, and initiation of peace talks between the Turkish government and the PKK.