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6 Mar, 2017 11:08

A Nazi analogy too far? ‘Erdogan right to slam Germany over human rights violations’

A Nazi analogy too far? ‘Erdogan right to slam Germany over human rights violations’

The refusal to allow Turkey’s ruling AK Party to address the 1.5 million Turkish citizens living in Germany who are authorized to vote in an upcoming referendum is a violation of human rights, says German journalist Martin Lejeune.

Two German cities have banned Turkish ministers from giving speeches. Turkish President Recep Erdogan likened the German authorities' decision to those of the Nazis.

The rallies were supposed to drum up support among Turkish expats for a 'yes' vote in an upcoming referendum to extend President Erdogan's powers.

RT: A head of state accusing Germany of behaving like the Nazis. This ban must have really got under Erdogan's skin. Is he right to be this angry?

Martin Lejeune: Absolutely. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has definitely very good reasons to do this comparison. I think he is absolutely right. Germany does not allow Turkish governmental officials - high governmental officials - to speak in Germany. [RT] just mentioned the referendum on a new constitution for the Turkish Republic on April 16. Turkish officials and members of the AK Party [Justice and Development Party,] the ruling party of Turkey, want to inform their 1.5 million citizens, who are allowed to participate in this vote about the new constitution, and about the presidential system of Turkey that is going to be established after April 16. When Germany does not allow these government officials and these members of the AK Party to speak in Germany, this is a violation of free speech, and this is a violation of social and political rights.

RT: Erdogan looks like he's trying to provoke Germany, doesn’t he?

ML: I don’t think that Erdogan is trying to provoke Germany. On the contrary, Germany is provoking Erdogan. Germany is provoking Turkey by banning government officials from Turkey to speak in Germany. I think Erdogan is right to compare today’s Germany with Nazi times because it is a violation of human rights not to allow 1.5 million people of Turkish origin, of Turkish nationality, to listen to their leaders, to listen to their politicians; to allow them that they can have their own opinion if they want to vote “yes” or “no” on April 16. This is a very important decision for the future of Turkey. People should be allowed to discuss this matter with their leaders, with their politicians, with high-ranking members of ruling AK Party. And the Turkish people are a minority in Germany.

RT: Why do you think the German authorities decided to ban these rallies?

ML: They want to distract Turkey. Turkey is constantly and continuously distracted by German decisions like this. Also, Germany is supporting terrorist groups in Turkey. This is also a distraction for Turkey. They do not want Turkey to become a strong power, a prosperous economy. The PKK, the problematic terrorist group in Turkey, they were established in 1978, and since then supported by Germany. This terrorist group has cost Turkey $300 billion since 1978. So this is a huge destruction strategy by European countries such as Germany – to weaken Turkey; to destabilize Turkey; to try to make regime change in Turkey, as we witnessed in the time of the Gezi Park protests in Istanbul a couple of years ago, or by the Armenian resolution in the German parliament last summer. This has been a very strong offensive against Turkey.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.