A TURKISH pro-government newspaper has depicted Angela Merkel as a Nazi, using a mocked-up image of the German Chancellor with a Hitler-style moustache and labelled her a female Hitler on their front page.

07 29 2017
The above photo is just a sample of what we have seen in the Turkish press over the past few months…

After a year of threats, digs and quarrels, Germany and Turkey are now preparing for a showdown that could shake the European Union, alter the fight on terrorism and accelerate the refugee crisis. Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, and Turkey, the only North Atlantic Treaty Organization member in the Middle East, have had a hot/cold relationship for years. Germany imported hundreds of thousands of Turkish workers to help rebuild the country after World War II and now is home to nearly 4 million people of Turkish descent. For Turkey, Germany became a passage to the West, one of its biggest trading partners and a major source of tourism revenue.

In early July, on an island near Istanbul, Turkish police closed down a seminar on data protection and seized a German Amnesty International activist, Peter Steudtner. He and five others were later charged with aiding terrorism and put in prison. Germany believes that Mr. Steudtner’s detention represented an unjust case of imprisonment of a German citizen. This is of great concern to the German government.

Recently, Germany has been concerned about what they see as Turkey’s attempts to stir up unrest among citizens of Turkish descent living in Germany, many whom backed Mr. Erdogan at recent polls. Turkish leaders wanted to campaign in Germany—where nearly 1.4 million Turkish voters are registered—for Turkey’s referendum this past April; but German officials banned such rallies for safety reasons. This angered Turkey’s leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

It is a complicated relationship (between Germany and Turkey), which we will discuss in future radio broadcasts. Just remember that Turkey is the gateway for refugees who want to enter Europe from the Middle East. The European Union paid Turkey $3.2 billion in EU aid to take care of the 2.2 million Syrian refugees in Turkey. The money is intended to advance the refugees’ living standards so that the refugees will not attempt migrating to European cities. Turkey could turn the spigot open, and hundreds of thousands of refugees could pour into Europe. Turkey is in a powerful position to get its way with Germany and Europe because of the refugee dread that has overtaken Europe—more later, on this developing story. To be blunt, Turkey and Europe are “unequally yoked”—they have different cultures, religions and economic priorities—they will never work well together—and the European Union, has no intention of allowing Turkey its request, which is to become a European Union member. This has created resentment in Turkey.

07 29 2017b

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