Germany on AKP’s election campaigns: There is no place for hate speech and agitation

In response to a question by MP Gökay Akbulut, the Federal Government stated that there is no place in Germany for "hate speech and agitation" in view of threats of destruction at an AKP election campaign event in Neuss.

The Erdoğan regime is pushing its election campaign with racist agitation and nationalist mobilisation in Europe as well. This was shown, among other things, by the election rally of AKP MP Mustafa Açıkgöz on 13 January 2023 in the far-right Yunus Emre Mosque in Neuss. The Turkish MP had openly called for the extermination of "PKK supporters" and members of the Gülen sect. A member of the German Parliament, Bundestag, Gökay Akbulut of DIE LINKE, asked the federal government about the consequences of the scandal with regard to the authorisation of election campaign events of the AKP and MHP in Germany.

The federal government gave an evasive answer and emphasised, with reference to the fact that "there is no place for hate speech and agitation in Germany", that the events of foreign elected representatives were subject to authorisation. This approval by the federal government has to be applied for at least ten days before the event. In this way, the federal government evaded the question of whether further events of the AKP/MHP regime in Germany would be authorised. Apparently, events by representatives of the regime continue. On 20 January, the AKP Minister of Agriculture, Vahit Kirişci, made his last election campaign appearance in Berlin. Whether with or without permission is not yet known.

Akbulut sees the summoning of the Turkish ambassador after the scandalous statements in Neuss and the "clear words" that something like this must not be repeated as a welcome sign, but warns: "However, it is still unclear what consequences will follow if the Turkish side still does not abide by these rules. As the recent election campaign appearance of the Turkish Minister of Agriculture in Berlin made clear, the Turkish government does not seem to be particularly interested in the admonishing words from Berlin. The Foreign Ministry must therefore set clear limits here."

According to its answer, the Federal Government has also informed the associations represented in the "Coordination Council of Muslims in Germany" (Koordinierungsrat der Muslime in Deutschland, KRM) of the obligation to obtain permission for such events. Among others, the offshoot of the religious authority of the AKP/MHP regime, DITIB, and the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Central Council of Muslims (ZMD) are organised in the KRM. At the same time, police and intelligence services observed corresponding "extremist efforts" such as those of the Grey Wolves. While Kurdish organisations are overrun with repression, there is little evidence of this among Turkish right-wing extremists. Openly right-wing extremist associations like the "Alperen Ocakları", which belongs to the Grey Wolves, are even granted non-profit status in federal states like Berlin.

The federal government's claim that the "security of opposition members living in Germany" is of "particular importance" is correspondingly vapid. According to the federal government, it is closely monitoring the possible danger to opposition members from Turkey in Germany. According to Akbulut, "If the federal government is really concerned about the safety of opposition members living in Germany, as it claims, then it should immediately stop all those exchanges of information with Turkey that endanger these very opposition members. According to its own information, the federal government collects information on Kurdish associations from the Office for the Protection of the Constitution and the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) and also shares it with the Turkish secret service. This is absolutely irresponsible. At the same time, the federal government regularly forwards information on all criminal convictions of Turkish citizens to Turkey. This, too, can be dangerous for those concerned when travelling to Turkey, if it concerns acts that can be linked to opposition gatherings or association activities. In view of the internal political conditions in Turkey, this form of judicial cooperation must be suspended until further notice."