Thursday, 6 October 2011

Why Is Erdogan Attacking Germany's Foundations?

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is leveling targeted attacks against German political foundations, accusing them of supporting the Kurdish PKK. But the foundations view the attacks as merely part of a calculated plan to criminalize legal Kurdish organizations.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is well-known for the tough and occasionally undiplomatic tone he uses with foreign politicians. The most recent to experience his wrath was Israel's government. But now Erdogan is attacking German political foundations with a presence and projects in Turkey -- and in no uncertain terms.

Erdogan is accusing several foundations of supporting the "Kurdish terrorist organization PKK," the Kurdistan Worker's Party. Several days ago, he spoke of a single foundation, accusing it of collaborating with local officials of the Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) -- a legal political party that managed to win 36 seats in the Turkish parliament in June -- and of issuing loans to companies with PKK ties.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Erdogan went even further. He alleged that German foundations are using loans to Kurdish BDP officials to get aid to the PKK. "The German foundations have unfortunately been doing similar things for a long time, but German officials have yet to respond to Turkish complaints," he said. In other words, Erdogan was no longer concerned about a single foundation, it was now "the German foundations" in general.

In Turkey, it is no minor matter to be charged with supporting the PKK -- especially when the man leveling the charge is the prime minister himself. In such cases, state prosecutors are quick to draw up an indictment like the ones that have put thousands in jail on similar charges.

Cries of Dismay

Appalled representatives of German political foundations are rejecting the accusations. For example, the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, a think tank associated with Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), has labeled the claims as "absurd." Officials in both Turkey and Germany with the Heinrich Böll Foundation, which is aligned with the Green Party, said the accusations "are lacking any basis in fact," adding that "foundations don't issue loans nor do they finance any infrastructure projects."

Eberhard Pohl, Germany's ambassador to Turkey, has made similar statements in recent days. He has stated that any loans issued to municipalities or to support infrastructure measures in Turkey can only come from KfW, Germany's government-owned investment bank, or the German development organization GIZ. Granted, in addition to supporting a number of different projects in other Turkish cities, the GIZ has backed ones bringing new sewer tunnels and wastewater treatment plants to the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir, which has the largest population of Kurds. But it has always only done so after getting the approval of the responsible Turkish ministries. He said it is simply impossible that money was channeled from the projects to the PKK. Representatives of foundations also pointed out that they cannot legally provide any loans in Turkey.

A Complicated History

At first glance, it seems puzzling that Erdogan would be launching such a massive attack on German foundations at this point in time. Still, conflicts revolving around German political foundations are nothing new in Turkey. The involvement of foreign organizations in Turkish affairs has always been a thorn in the side of many, particularly with Turkish nationalists. Already in 2002, the foundations were forced to defend themselves against accusations of espionage and of having sought to destroy the Turkish economy. At the time, the charges had to do with foreign support for a citizen's initiative opposing a gold mine on Turkey's western coast that was using cyanide to leak gold out of rock. The matter ultimately found its way before the Ankara State Security Court, which acquitted foundation representatives tried on espionage charges.

The foundations continue to work with mostly civil-society groups and, of course, also with some based in predominately Kurdish areas. The Heinrich Böll Foundation primarily supports projects related to women's issues, but it also engages in talks with politicians from the Kurdish opposition. Foundation CEO Ralf Fücks defends these activities as being the only way to foster dialogue aimed at a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

Undercutting Foreign Support

Ulrike Dufner, the head of the foundation's office in Istanbul, views Erdogan's current accusations as an attempt to "stir up nationalist emotions." In fact, she believes the attack is targeting the civilian Kurdish opposition much more than German foundations themselves. Ralf Fücks, who happens to be in Turkey at the moment for talks, backed her opinion, saying: "Erdogan intends to criminalize all collaboration with the Kurdish BDP, the Kurds' legal civilian opposition."

It is a view that seems to be supported by the fact that, in two days alone earlier this week, 150 Kurds with ties to the BDP -- including mayors and municipal representatives -- were arrested. The charges are always the same: allegedly being a member of a secret PKK organization trying to use legal means to wrestle control in predominantly Kurdish areas and erect a parallel structure to the state. Over the last two years, a total of 4,000 Kurds have been arrested on these charges. At the moment, roughly 3,000 cases are being heard involving predominantly elected Kurdish municipal politicians.

"The government's strategy is evidently to cut off these Kurds from international support," Fücks said, adding that this is the actual reason behind attacks on the foundations. For that reason, Dufner considers it unlikely that state prosecutors will be showing up in her office any time soon. "On its merits," she said, "the charges are just too weak for that."
Source: Der Spiegel

17 comments:

  1. You’ve got some interesting points in this article. I would have never considered any of these if I didn’t come across this. Thanks!limo rental Fort Lee

    ReplyDelete
  2. A amazing essay is normally hushed because open as the throe through on there. Your latest dictates on how in fiat to pack dreary a categorical life wearied to hear appropriate information completely accomplishs an try. This friendly of precises wrench piece a multiple ample easier.funwirks.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. The exceedingly propitious by vile of in request to fervent the concrete computer associated along job promoting. Retain pertaining to tell this share.online gevonden

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your go up with the rio Negro starts throughout february or maybe drive as well as will begin for you to recede throughout july. Your madeira river soars as well as falls two months ahead of the majority of all of those other amazon online marketplace.digital signature

    ReplyDelete
  5. Within stopper Iblis, you blank happen assisted for you to floral your press s, discharge restrain pamphlet, survey thesis, theses, blows, control uplift bridging, bathe business, gyp realization synchronizes reanalyses experienced method at a inexpensive concern.patent services Fort Lauderdale

    ReplyDelete
  6. The Usa offers a lot of choices which choosing it's possible to be difficult! Narrow lower your best choices as well as let your whole family choose.boys bow ties

    ReplyDelete
  7. LOVE LOVE LOVE your site Stephanie!!! you always inspire me with your creative ideas and beautiful work!!Kitchen hood filters

    ReplyDelete
  8. to fight and pray to make a better result? thank you very helpful information.Drug Prices

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello Everybody,
    My name is Mrs Sharon Sim. I live in Singapore and i am a happy woman today? and i told my self that any lender that rescue my family from our poor situation, i will refer any person that is looking for loan to him, he gave me happiness to me and my family, i was in need of a loan of S$250,000.00 to start my life all over as i am a single mother with 3 kids I met this honest and GOD fearing man loan lender that help me with a loan of S$250,000.00 SG. Dollar, he is a GOD fearing man, if you are in need of loan and you will pay back the loan please contact him tell him that is Mrs Sharon, that refer you to him. contact Dr Purva Pius,via email:(urgentloan22@gmail.com) Thank you.

    BORROWERS APPLICATION DETAILS


    1. Name Of Applicant in Full:……..
    2. Telephone Numbers:……….
    3. Address and Location:…….
    4. Amount in request………..
    5. Repayment Period:………..
    6. Purpose Of Loan………….
    7. country…………………
    8. phone…………………..
    9. occupation………………
    10.age/sex…………………
    11.Monthly Income…………..
    12.Email……………..

    Regards.
    Managements
    Email Kindly Contact: urgentloan22@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I already saw many blogs but I like this commenting platform. Thanks a lot for your guidance and sharing information.conveyancing quotes

    ReplyDelete
  11. A veteran educator has compiled her most-requested homeschooling workshop material so that families can become more proficient in educating their kids.80s Costumes

    ReplyDelete
  12. This type of message always inspiring and I prefer to read quality content, so happy to find good place to many here in the post, the writing is just great, thanks for the post.money transfer comparison

    ReplyDelete
  13. You may contact my previous clients who will tell you about work quality and make you choose my services.sex ejaculation spells

    ReplyDelete
  14. Haemorrhoids is a swelling that occurs in a rut the rectum. Swelling that contains blood vessels that dilate.Power washing company Canada

    ReplyDelete
  15. I thought it was going to be some exhausting old post, however it truly made up for my time. I will present a connection on this page on my web journal. I am certain my guests will find that extremely helpful.commercial cleaning

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you for sharing with us,I too always learn something new from your post.online desk scheduling

    ReplyDelete
  17. I like how you think and the way you speak to your perspectives in this article. I concur with your method for thinking.Ryanair

    ReplyDelete