Berlin on edge for Erdogan after fierce criticism
The upcoming visit of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to Germany on Friday is notably understated, given its status as a state visit. The president will have a meeting with German President Frank-Walter and later enjoy a formal dinner with Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
In addition to the stringent security measures in place in the center of the capital, comparable to those implemented for US presidential visits, the German government anticipates that Mr. Erdogan’s visit will attract minimal attention.
The relationship between President Erdogan and consecutive German governments has been characterized by challenges for a significant period, resulting in frequent disputes between Berlin and Ankara. When German government representatives refer to a “difficult partner,” it is clear that they are referring to President Erdogan.
The Hamas atrocities that occurred in Israel on October 7th, followed by Israel’s retaliation in Gaza, have resulted in Germany and Turkey taking opposing positions in the conflict.
In recent weeks, the Turkish president has grown more assertive in his condemnation of Israel.
The individual in question has chosen not to denounce the acts of violence and hostage-taking carried out by Hamas, instead labeling them as “liberators.” It is important to note that Hamas is internationally recognized as a terrorist organization by Western allies, including Germany.
Furthermore, he has raised doubts regarding the legitimacy of the Jewish state by suggesting that its “own fascism” has eroded its credibility.
Jewish leaders in Germany have leveled accusations against Mr. Erdogan, claiming that his remarks are exacerbating antisemitism. As a result, there have been demands for the German government to cancel the visit of the Turkish president.
For Germany, historical Nazi guilt for the Holocaust means that support for the state of Israel is non-negotiable and a key cornerstone of Berlin’s foreign policy.