The impending visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Germany has sparked widespread criticism, with key figures and organisations across Germany voicing concerns over Erdoğan’s stance on Hamas and his actions against Kurdish groups.
Criticism came, among others, from the President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, who said that “the Turkish President’s visit must be used to make it clear to Erdoğan that his relativisation of Hamas terror will not be accepted under any circumstances”.
Different German politicians also expressed objections against the visit. Martin Schirdewan, leader of the German Leftist Party (Die Linke), said that, “As long as Erdoğan supports terror, systematically bombs the Kurdish people and disregards human rights in his own country, he should not be a normal guest of the German government.”
Sharing similar points, Svenja Appuhn, co-spokeswoman of the youth of the German Green Party (Die Grüne), said that Erdoğan’s state visit to Germany is the “wrong signal at the wrong time”, further explaining that the Turkish President “openly hates Israel, calls Hamas a liberation organisation and has been carrying out attacks on Kurdish areas in violation of international law for years”. She also stated that Erdoğan’s visit to Germany is a “provocation and a security risk for Jews, Kurds and Turkish opposition activists in Germany”.
“The visit planned for 17 November would be a fatal signal to all enemies of freedom and human rights and would damage Germany’s reputation,” the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) announced on 9 November. Due to Erdoğan’s support for the extremist Hamas and his aggressive foreign policy in the Middle East, the STP is even calling for Erdoğan to be officially uninvited. According to the STP’s Middle East expert, Dr. Kamal Sido, the Turkish President presents himself as a “mouthpiece of hatred for Israel and the Jews” and at the same time “bombs Turkey’s neighbouring states on a daily basis in order to expel the minorities living there and to Islamise the region.”
The chairman of the Kurdish community in Germany, Ali Ertan Toprak, also considered Erdoğan’s visit to Berlin to be wrong and called for it to be cancelled, saying “It is unacceptable that we talk about Israel’s security on a daily basis and then roll out the red carpet for one of the biggest anti-Semites”.
The Confederation of Kurdistan Communities in Germany (KON-MED), the largest Kurdish institution in the country, joined the call for Erdoğan to be uninvited, appealing to the German government to “take sides with human rights and democracy” and stating that “Erdoğan is a war criminal in the eyes of the German public, so this invitation does not only hurt us, but also disturbs German society”.
Various organisations, including the campaign to lift the PKK ban and the anti-militarist Disarm Rheinmetall alliance, have announced protests against Erdoğan’s visit.
On Saturday, a demonstration against the ban of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the visit of Erdoğan is planned.