Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Diplomazia, Senza categoria

Gerhard Schröder. La diplomazia della Realpolitik.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-10-28.

Gas Vignette 014

La differenza che intercorre tra uno statista come Herr Gerhard Schröder ed una lavandaia ai trogoli a sfogare il calore delle vampate post menopausa come Frau Merkel è stridente.

Oltre ad essere stato un grande cancelliere con la netta percezione del futuro e del bene della sua nazione, Herr Gerhard Schröder è un diplomatico nato. Toni sempre smorzati, mai giudizi severi tranne proprio in situazioni che avrebbero fatto perdere la pazienza ad un santo, nessuna ideologia in testa, amico di tutti senza preclusione alcuna.

Non a caso ci siamo occupati più volte di questo personaggio.

Germania. L’ex-cancelliere Spd Schröder nel board della russa Rosneft.

La Germania deve comprendere, non giudicare, la Russia. – Gerhard Schröder

Benediciamo il Cielo che ci ha donato Herr Martin Schulz.

*

Il fatto contingente è semplice.

«Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder made a quiet trip to Ankara a week after Germany’s elections to persuade Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to release the human rights activist Peter Steudtner, according to a report in Der Spiegel magazine»

*

«The initiative for sending the 73-year-old veteran politician came from Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel»

*

«Gabriel appears to have turned to his fellow Social Democrat as the increasingly acrimonious dispute between Germany and Turkey threatened to escalate even further over the summer. In response to criticism from Gabriel, Erdogan used a particularly heated speech in August to ask the foreign minister rhetorically: “Who are you to speak to the president of Turkey? Watch your boundaries!”»

*

«There was a much more conciliatory tone at the secret two-hour meeting between Schröder and Erdogan, during which they reportedly agreed to continue working to resolve the issue of German citizens in custody in Turkey»

*

«Angela Merkel met Schröder on September 1 to discuss and personally approve the diplomatic mission, according to the media reports. The former chancellor requested the meeting to ensure that his successor would give him authority as an emissary for Germany’s government, rather than as a private citizen.»

* * * * * * *

Ricapitoliamo.

Alcuni cittadini tedeschi, attivisti di ong ma sospetti di terrorismo, erano stati arrestati in Turkia, detenuti e rinviati a processo.

La diplomazia tedesca si era mossa con la grazia di un carro armato all’interno di un negozio di baccarat.

Il Ministro degli Esteri tedesco aveva interpellato Mr Erdogan in modo così affabile e cortese che si era sentito rispondere da Mr Erdogan in questa maniera:

«Who are you to speak to the president of Turkey? Watch your boundaries!»

“Chi cribbio credi di essere tu da poter parlare al Presidente della Turkia? Torna nei ranghi!”

*

Diciamo che Mr Erdogan non le ha mandate a dire a Herr Gabriel, noto in Germania con il nomignolo di “grasso neutro“.

Merkel.

Già, in queste situazioni avrebbe dovuto muoversi la Bundeskanzlerin in persona. Ma con il caratterino che si ritrova e la tempesta ormonale da sindrome post climaterica Frau Merkel aveva appena appena finito di riversare su Mr Erdogan ogni tipologia di insulti nota, ivi compreso il fatidico ‘omofobo‘!

*

La diplomazia tedesca è nota nella storia.

Di Herr Martin Schulz manco a parlarne. Se è vero che il 19 marzo 2017 era stato eletto presidente federale del partito socialdemocratico, dopo aver fatto le scarpe ad Herr Gabriel ed averlo trattato come un vecchio straccio da lavar per terra, è anche vero che da dopo le elezioni del 24 settembre è scomparso dalla circolazione, con gran sollievo di tutti.

Quindi la Germania si strizzò le meningi e pensò ad Herr Schröder.

Per Herr Gabriel fu come prendere un mastello di olio di ricino, ma per Frau Merkel fu come aver dovuto unire civilmente una coppia eterosessuale, ambedue simpatizzanti per AfD.

*

Ma Herr Schröder, zitto e quatto, senza suonare nessuna fanfara, si è mosso nel più stretto riserbo diplomatico, ha chiesto, ed ottenuto, un colloquio personale con Mr Erdogan e dopo due ore di amabile conversazione i terroristi tedeschi sono stati rimessi in libertà.

Solo iniziativa autonoma dei giudici, ha sottolineato Mr Erdogan, ma tutti sanno come in qualsiasi parte del mondo i giudici siano telepatici, sempre sintonizzati sulla emittente del potere.

* * * * * * *

Questo è soltanto l’ultimo episodio che dimostra come i capi di stato e delle diplomazie debbano essere aderenti alla Realpolitik. Diplomtici.

Lo ha capito persino Mr Macron:

«I believe in the sovereignty of states, and therefore, just as I don’t accept being lectured on how to govern my country, I don’t lecture others»

Nota.

Fonti solitamente molto bene informate riferirebbero come Mr Schröder avesse sentito preventivamente il parere di Mr Putin, che, da persona sensibile quale è, si sarebbe commosso ed avrebbe anche messo una parola buona con i turki. Questi sono brava gente: si incainano soltanto quando gli si organizza un colpo di stato in casa loro. In questo sono suscettibili.


Handelsblatt. 2017-10-27. Schröder’s Secret Mission to Turkey

A diplomatic mission by the former German chancellor has allowed a jailed human rights campaigner to return to Berlin, but at least 10 other German citizens are still being held.

*

Peter Steudtner embraced colleagues as he walked free from jail, where he has been incarcerated since July 5 on charges of terrorist propaganda, which could be punished by up to 15 years in prison. “We are relieved to return to family and friends,” Mr. Steudtner said. “I am really thankful for everybody who fought for us legally and at the diplomatic level and those who accompanied us in solidarity.”

He may have Gerhard Schröder to thank the most. Thanks to a secret diplomatic mission by the former German chancellor to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the German human rights campaigner and eight other activists were released from prison on bail Thursday at the start of their trial on terrorism-related charges stemming from last year’s failed coup.

The court said Mr. Steudtner, a freelance documentary filmmaker and speaker on human rights, did not have to stay in Turkey until the next scheduled court appearance November 2. He was expected to return later in the day to Berlin, where he lives with his partner and two children.

The release could mark something of a thaw in relations between Germany and Turkey. But with at least 10 other Germans still under arrest and a host of other issues where the two countries don’t see eye-to eye, there is still a long ways to go. “This is not yet a breakthrough,” said Günther Seufert, an expert on Turkey at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs.

«“The Turkish government has fulfilled all of its commitments, and we must continue to work to release the other detainees.”» [Sigmar Gabriel, German Foreign Minister]

The release of Mr. Steudtner, a Swedish activist, Ali Gharavi, and seven Turkish citizens followed a trip to Turkey by Mr. Schröder last month at the request of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government. He was chosen because he had warm relations with Mr. Erdogan while he was chancellor between 1998 to 2005. Mr. Schröder sponsored Turkey to start accession talks to join the European Union. Those talks have since foundered as Mr. Erdogan has become increasingly autocratic, ordering the arrest of at least 50,000 people after the coup.

The mission by Mr. Schroder, an elder statesman of the Social Democratic party, was disclosed by Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, who is the SDP’s leading politician but leaving government soon after his party’s poor showing in last month’s elections. Mr. Gabriel approached Mr. Schröder for help a week after the elections. In an interview with the magazine Der Spiegel, he called the release a “first sign of a relaxation” in tensions between the two countries but added: “We must continue to work to release the other detainees.”

During his meeting with Mr. Erdogan, Mr. Schröder agreed that the two countries should continue working on a diplomatic solution. Mr. Erdogan reportedly insisted that the release of Mr. Steudtner not give the appearance of a presidential intervention in the court’s procedure.

Although he has been out of office since 2005, Mr. Schröder maintained close relations with Mr. Erdogan, even giving him an award as a European statesman. ”He has kept out of the political dispute between Berlin and Ankara,” said Mr. Seufert of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs.

Later in the week, Turkish justice minister Abdülhamit Gül insisted Mr. Schröder’s visit had nothing to do with the release of the suspects. “This story has nothing at all to do with reality,” he said. “Turkish justice is independent and neutral.”

At least 10 other Germans remain under arrest in Turkey on charges related to the coup. Two of them are journalists – Deniz Yücel, the correspondent of German daily newspaper Die Welt, and Mesale Tolu, a freelancer. Although they both have German citizenship, they are being tried as Turkish nationals.

With Mr. Gabriel leaving the government, the politician widely expected to replace him as foreign minister is Cem Özdemir, a ethnic Turk who is a leader of the Green party. Mr. Özdemir said Thursday that there can be no improvement in relations with Turkey until the other German prisoners are released.

The arrests of German citizens in Turkey deeply angered the Merkel government, which warned businesses about the dangers of commerce in Turkey and suggested that it might be unsafe for German tourists, who normally flock to the beaches there to soak up Mediterranean sun. The government was also furious when Ankara requested the arrest of several hundred dissident Turks living in Germany and then refused to allow a delegation of German parliamentarians to visit a NATO base where German troops are stationed.

Mr. Schröder’s secret mission to Turkey may help redeem his standing in Germany, where he has recently become a controversial figure by agreeing to serve as chairman of the board of Rosneft, the state-controlled Russian oil producer, as well as the Nord Stream 2 pipeline which is owned by Gazprom, the Russian energy giant. Both companies are effectively controlled by the Kremlin, and Mr. Schröder was lambasted for appearing to be serving the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin, with whom he is also friendly. The oft-married Mr. Schröder, who is 73, also inflamed public opinion by leaving his German wife, Doris Köpf, for a young South Korean woman.


Deutsche Welle. 2017-10-27. Schröder’s ‘back channel’ helped free Steudtner from Turkey

Gerhard Schröder helped free the human rights activist Peter Steudtner from Turkey, German media report. The former German Chancellor has a history of diplomacy with authoritarian regimes.

*

Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder made a quiet trip to Ankara a week after Germany’s elections to persuade Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to release the human rights activist Peter Steudtner, according to a report in Der Spiegel magazine.

The initiative for sending the 73-year-old veteran politician came from Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, the magazine reported, citing “well-informed circles.” The media group RND and the Süddeutsche Zeitung have also reported Schröder’s intervention.

Gabriel appears to have turned to his fellow Social Democrat as the increasingly acrimonious dispute between Germany and Turkey threatened to escalate even further over the summer. In response to criticism from Gabriel, Erdogan used a particularly heated speech in August to ask the foreign minister rhetorically: “Who are you to speak to the president of Turkey? Watch your boundaries!” 

There was a much more conciliatory tone at the secret two-hour meeting between Schröder and Erdogan, during which they reportedly agreed to continue working to resolve the issue of German citizens in custody in Turkey.

‘Necessary first step’

The 46-year-old Steudtner, an activist who was arrested in Istanbul in July while conducting a workshop to train human rights defenders, was released on Wednesday, the first day of his trial. The charges — collusion with an opposition group that Turkey’s government has named a terrorist organization — were considered absurd by Steudtner’s friends. Ten other human rights activists from the workshop were also on trial, including the head of Amnesty’s Turkish branch, Idil Eser.

Steudtner’s case was apparently the easiest to resolve, though in return Turkey demanded that Germany’s government not interfere publicly in the trial. German authorities believe that Steudtner might have been pardoned or deported home at the end of the trial anyway. Though German politicians queued up to welcome the court’s decision to release him, many underlined that it was no more than a “necessary first step.” Ten other Germans are currently in custody in Turkey on political charges, including the journalist Deniz Yücel, who holds dual Turkish citizenship and was arrested in February.

Angela Merkel met Schröder on September 1 to discuss and personally approve the diplomatic mission, according to the media reports. The former chancellor requested the meeting to ensure that his successor would give him authority as an emissary for Germany’s government, rather than as a private citizen.

It must have been clear to Merkel why her predecessor was a potential diplomatic asset. Schröder harbored a notably warmer political friendship with Erdogan during his tenure than she does, and the Turkish president recently called the former chancellor, who lost his seat in 2005, the last German politician who could be trusted. After all, it was Schröder, along with French President Jacques Chirac, who originally opened the negotiations for Turkey’s accession to the European Union — something that Merkel has only halfheartedly pursued.

Back channel master

Schröder’s back channel prowess has been noted before — particularly when it comes to dealing with another authoritarian government: Russia. The former chancellor is a personal friend of President Vladimir Putin’s and is the chairman of the shareholders’ committee of Nord Stream, the consortium that operates the gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea  and is majority-owned by the Russian state company Gazprom.

That awkward friendship with the Kremlin was brought up during this summer’s election campaign in Germany, when media and politicians took exception to the ex-chancellor’s appointment — by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev — as the chairman of the board of directors of the oil company Rosneft, which is majority-owned by the government. Rosneft’s CEO, Igor Sechin, is still subject to US sanctions for Russia’s meddling in Ukraine.

During a press conference at the height of the scandal this summer, Foreign Minister Gabriel notably defended his fellow Social Democrat, noting that Schröder had helped secure the release of German OSCE military observers who were captured by separatists in eastern Ukraine in 2014.

Annunci
Pubblicato in: Unione Europea

Germania. Il voto dei turki residenti. Sono solo 800,000.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-09-23.

Erdogan_braccia_Afp. 001jpg

«In the last election in 2013 the centre-left party gained an estimated 64% of the Turkish vote, compared to 12% for the Greens. In the same Data4U study published last year, only 6.1% of Turkish voters felt they had a political connection with Merkel’s CDU»

*

«The results of the April referendum show that Turks in Germany back Erdogan more strongly than their fellow voters in Turkey (63 percent voted for the constitutional reforms, compared to 51 percent in Turkey). …. In Essen, a Rhineland city with a large Turkish community, three quarters of the Turkish diaspora voted for Erdogan’s reforms.»

*

«the majority of those who voted in the Turkish referendum don’t have the right to vote in Germany, making it difficult to estimate whether the 800,000 people with Turkish roots who only have German citizenship are as loyal to Ankara»

*

«it is unlikely that Erodgan’s boycott call will have an important impact on results.»

*

«If German Turkish voters were to heed Erdogan’s call and boycott the major parties, the SPD would likely take the biggest hit.»

*

«Germany said Turkish people should vote against Erdogan in the referendum, now it’s the other way round. Erdogan just wanted to show that there was a double standard, that they shouldn’t meddle»

* * * * * * *

Questo articolo allegato ha il merito di quantizzare il fenomeno dei turki che sono abilitati a votare in Germania.

Sono 800,000 elettori turki, grosso modo l’1.3% degli elettori totali.

È in ultima analisi un numero talmente basso da non costituire problema.

Diversa cosa invece il giudizio sulla liceità dell’appello fatto dal Presidente Erdogan ai turki elettori in Germania.

Non ci si dovrebbe dimenticare come sia stata Frau Merkel ad esortare di turki residenti a votare contro il referendum indetto in Turkia.

Se l’interferenza con gli affari interni turki era lecita a Frau Merkel, non si vede per quale motivo dovrebbe essere illecita quella del Presidente Erdogan negli affari interni tedeschi.


The Local. 2017-09-21. Will​ ​Turkish​ ​voters​ ​listen​ ​to​ ​Erdogan​ ​and​ ​try​ ​to​ ​sabotage​ ​Merkel in the elections?

Last month Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on Turkish voters to boycott three of Germany’s major political parties. We have looked into how much impact that statement is likely to have.

*

As German voters become accustomed to seeing lamp posts plastered with election posters, one in western Germany stands out in particular.

Erdogan’s severe face glares down from adverts for the fledgling pro-migrant Alliance of Democratic Germans (ADD) party.

The Turkish leader unofficially entered the election race when he called in August for German Turks to sabotage Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), her main rivals the Social Democrats (SPD), and the Green Party at the national election on September 24th.

Ankara’s intervention came during a year of downward-spiralling tensions between the two former allies and led to a furious response from Berlin. Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has described it as “an unprecedented act of interference in the sovereignty of our country.”

Now the ADD, created after the German parliament voted last year to recognize the murder of 1.5 million Armenians in 1915 by Ottoman Turks as genocide, is using Erdogan’s image to try and win over disgruntled Turkish voters.

‘Double​ ​standards’

Kerem*, a small business owner in Düsseldorf, the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia, believes Erdogan has every right to interfere.

“I think he’s right,” he tells The Local. “Germany said Turkish people should vote against Erdogan in the referendum, now it’s the other way round. Erdogan just wanted to show that there was a double standard, that they shouldn’t meddle.”

In April Turkey voted in a referendum on whether to extend the powers of the Turkish president, with the “yes” campaign winning a narrow victory. Germany did not explicitly takes sides, but Merkel urged for freedom of speech ahead of the vote in Ankara when she told Erdogan “opposition is part of democracy.”

Kerem moved to North Rhine Westphalia – the German state with the largest Turkish population – ten years ago. But, like roughly half of the three million people with Turkish roots living in Germany, he doesn’t have dual citizenship and therefore can’t vote in German elections.

The 40-year-old is a fan of Erdogan but denies that he would be influenced by him.

“He doesn’t need to tell me anything,” he says. “Every year when we go home we see with our own eyes that the media and television [in Germany] lies. He has made Turkey a much better country.”

Still though, if he could vote he would back Merkel. She is “more honest” than the SPD’s Sigmar Gabriel, he says, describing the foreign secretary as a liar for warning Germans against travelling to Turkey after an activist was arrested there in July.

Trouble​ ​ahead

If German Turkish voters were to heed Erdogan’s call and boycott the major parties, the SPD would likely take the biggest hit.

In the last election in 2013 the centre-left party gained an estimated 64% of the Turkish vote, compared to 12% for the Greens. In the same Data4U study published last year, only 6.1% of Turkish voters felt they had a political connection with Merkel’s CDU.

Professor Achim Görres, who is conducting the first ever study on German immigrant voting for this year’s election, doesn’t believe Erdogan’s call will resonate with the majority of the voting Turkish population.

“My speculation is that it will have very little impact,” he says. “Erdogan is more interested in mobilizing support at home. He’s appealing more to Turks in Turkey than Turks in Germany.”

The academic from Duisburg-Essen University believes the SPD could lose out on the Turkish vote in other ways, though.

“German Turks of a working-class background were traditionally very much in favour of the SPD,” he explains.

“This group of Germans of Turkish descent is getting more and more heterogeneous, especially among the younger voters whose educational level is dramatically on the increase.”

“Things are changing, and the bias in favour of the party is declining as well.”

Support​ ​for​ ​Erdogan

The results of the April referendum show that Turks in Germany back Erdogan more strongly than their fellow voters in Turkey (63 percent voted for the constitutional reforms, compared to 51 percent in Turkey).

In Essen, a Rhineland city with a large Turkish community, three quarters of the Turkish diaspora voted for Erdogan’s reforms.

Caner Aver, a researcher at the Centre for Turkish Integration (ZftI) in Essen, believes the background of Turkish guest workers who first moved to the region in the 1960s played a role in the outcome – contrasting them to the comparatively liberal Turkish community in Berlin.

“The Ruhr valley had a very high influx of people from conservative circles who predominantly came from mining regions in Turkey to mining jobs in Germany,” he says.

“They are more business-minded, more conservative. Things are starting to change now, but unemployment and social segregation led to them distancing themselves from the rest of society.”

Nonetheless, the majority of those who voted in the Turkish referendum don’t have the right to vote in Germany, making it difficult to estimate whether the 800,000 people with Turkish roots who only have German citizenship are as loyal to Ankara.

What seems clear is that the ADD – the party with Erdogan’s face plastered over their posters – will make any inroads into the German political landscape this September.

The fledgling party are only running in North Rhine Westphalia, where they stood for state parliament for the first time in May and won a miniscule 0.15% of the vote. They are so unpopular that there is no accurate polling available for them.

Aver believes Erdogan may be using the ADD to discover what influence he exerts among the Turkish diaspora.

“The number of votes the ADD get will be a sign of how influential he is in the Turkish community here. I think Erdogan wants to test how popular he is within Germany, even among those with citizenship.”

The​ ​anti-Erdogan​ ​camp

Among those who have emigrated from Turkey to Germany since the 1960s are also fierce opponents of the Turkish strongman. Erdogan has re-ignited conflict with the country’s Kurdish minority in recent years, and is far from popular among the many Kurdish Turks living in Germany.

Hidir Cagritekin, a Kurdish Turk who moved to Essen in 1974, says that “anyone who listens to him should pack their bags and go back to Turkey.

“It’s impossible what he’s doing, he should be banned from politics,” he says angrily, addressing Erodgan’s boycott call.

“We are an uneducated people,” adds the 50-year-old, who would not betray his vote. “People would be able to see if they went back to Turkey that there is no freedom of speech, this is a place where they throw journalists in a cell for no good reason.”

The extent to which Cagritekin’s point of view is reflected among other Turkish Germans will become clear after the election. But it is unlikely that Erodgan’s boycott call will have an important impact on results.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo

Merkel in minoranza in seno alla Commissione Europea. – Spiegel

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-09-01.

 Merkel 998

Il titolo del Der Spiegel è tutto un programma: “Germany’s Hardline on Turkey Begins to Soften

Diversi i punti di interesse. Per sommi capi.

– Frau Merkel non vorrebbe pagare alla Turkia i sei miliardi pattuiti perché si tenesse i profughi;

– Frau Merkel vorrebbe anche negare alla Turkia i soldi chele spetterebbero come stato in attesa di ingresso;

– Mr Erdogan ha replicato ad Herr Gabriel: “Ma chi c@@o sei da parlare al Presidente turko?”;

– La Commissione Europea ha detto a Frau Merkel che non a lei a poter decidere, bensì la Commissione, a maggioranza qualificata;

– «After surveying their 27 EU partners, Berlin found that only a minority are in favor of its course»

* * * * * * *

«When it comes to Gabriel’s demand to review state export credit guarantees for deals with Turkey, the chancellor herself has intervened»

*

«Gabriel would like to introduce a cap on the total sum of such guarantees (known as Hermes Cover), but the Chancellery is skeptical.»

*

«she [Merkel] could lose votes to the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP)»

*

«With agreement from the Chancellery, Gabriel wrote to the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, and to Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn to inquire whether pre-accession assistance, being paid to Ankara as part of ongoing accession negotiations, could be suspended»

*

«Internally, Commission officials have been trying for weeks to make it clear to their German counterparts that suspending the payments is far from straightforward»

*

«Indeed, Brussels doesn’t even have the power to make such a decision»

*

«The responsibility lies with EU member states, a qualified majority of whom would have to agree that Turkey is no longer in fulfillment of the so-called Copenhagen accession criteria on, for example, human rights or rule of law issues»

*

«After surveying their 27 EU partners, Berlin found that only a minority are in favor of its course. France and Italy are among those most vehemently opposed.»

*

«At issue is the second tranche of the 6 billion euros Turkey was promised as part of the refugee deal.»

*

«Not long later, though, the Turkish president sharpened his tone once again, launching a personal attack on the German foreign minister: “Who are you to speak to the president of Turkey?” he hissed at Gabriel»

*

«The number of refugees arriving on the Greek islands has also been on the rise of late, a situation that Berlin and Brussels are monitoring with concern»

* * * * * * *

Come al solito, il punto veramente importante è stato diluito nelle ultime righe.

«After surveying their 27 EU partners, Berlin found that only a minority are in favor of its course. France and Italy are among those most vehemently opposed.»

La Bundeskanzlerin Frau Merkel non ha più la maggioranza dei capi degli stati in seno alla Commissione Europea. Certo, non avesse insultato, sberleffato, deriso e vessato Polonia, Ungheria, Repubblica Ceka e Slovakia avrebbe avuto quattro voti con sé. Ma dopo quello che ha fatto, se li scorderà oggi, domani e sempre.

Diciamo pure che Frau Merkel sembrerebbe non avere la fine arte diplomatica di Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord.


→ Spiegel. 2017-08-28. Germany’s Hardline on Turkey Begins to Soften

With the Turkish president firing away at Germany at will, Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel recently announced that Berlin would take a tougher stance. It hasn’t happened. Indeed, Germany may soon have to cough up significant amounts of money for Ankara.

*

When German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Angela Merkel met at the end of July to discuss how to handle the most recent indignities fired off by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the direction of Germany, the chancellor gave the impression that she completely supported Gabriel’s proposals. Speaking on television afterwards, Gabriel said “everything I am telling you has been coordinated with Ms. Merkel.”

One month later, though, things look markedly different. It is apparently more difficult than he thought to follow up tough words with deeds. And consensus in Merkel’s cabinet has also suffered. Gabriel was able to achieve a quick success by convincing Erdogan to withdraw a list of terrorism supporters which included German companies. Not long later, though, the Turkish president sharpened his tone once again, launching a personal attack on the German foreign minister: “Who are you to speak to the president of Turkey?” he hissed at Gabriel. The number of refugees arriving on the Greek islands has also been on the rise of late, a situation that Berlin and Brussels are monitoring with concern.

As such, Gabriel’s appetite has only grown for taking the kind of tough stance on Turkey that Germany had threatened. But the Foreign Ministry in Berlin has lately found itself confronted with reservations and opposition in both Brussels and Berlin.

When it comes to Gabriel’s demand to review state export credit guarantees for deals with Turkey, the chancellor herself has intervened. Gabriel would like to introduce a cap on the total sum of such guarantees (known as Hermes Cover), but the Chancellery is skeptical. Merkel is concerned that such a move could hurt German exporters and she isn’t interested in damaging relations with that constituency in the middle of her re-election campaign – particularly out of fear that she could lose votes to the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP). The consequence is that negotiations between the Foreign Ministry and the Chancellery on the issue are making no progress.

Trying for Weeks

A second threat aimed at hurting Erdogan has met a similar fate. With agreement from the Chancellery, Gabriel wrote to the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, and to Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn to inquire whether pre-accession assistance, being paid to Ankara as part of ongoing accession negotiations, could be suspended. Between 2014 and 2020, Turkey is set to receive 4.45 billion euros in accordance with the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance II (IPA II) program. Thus far, only around 250 million euros has been dispersed.

Internally, Commission officials have been trying for weeks to make it clear to their German counterparts that suspending the payments is far from straightforward. Indeed, Brussels doesn’t even have the power to make such a decision. The responsibility lies with EU member states, a qualified majority of whom would have to agree that Turkey is no longer in fulfillment of the so-called Copenhagen accession criteria on, for example, human rights or rule of law issues. That, though, is risky, since that would force a suspension of the accession talks – at least according to the Commission’s interpretation. Berlin, though, doesn’t agree.

Only minor adjustments are possible. Hahn’s office, for example, has long been looking for ways to prevent EU money from aiding the purges that Erdogan launched after last summer’s unsuccessful coup attempt. Smaller projects, such as one to train judges in Turkey, have been stopped since its goal can hardly be achieved at a time when the Turkish president is throwing independent lawyers in jail.

Vehemently Opposed

The mid-term review of pre-accession aid for all EU accession candidates (including countries like Albania and Serbia in addition to Turkey) could represent a greater danger to Erdogan. Should Turkey get poor marks on issues such as the rule of law, up to 20 percent of the money earmarked for the country could be sent elsewhere. Again, though, EU member states must grant their approval.

And that, as the German government has realized, is not a foregone conclusion. After surveying their 27 EU partners, Berlin found that only a minority are in favor of its course. France and Italy are among those most vehemently opposed.

Plus, the EU is in the process of trying to drum up more money for Turkey as it is. At issue is the second tranche of the 6 billion euros Turkey was promised as part of the refugee deal. The deal calls for the entire sum to be paid by the end of 2018 and is earmarked for such projects as the provision of humane shelters for refugees. The first tranche of 3 billion euros will have been used up by the end of the year and Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger has included around 300 million euros for the second tranche in his 2018 draft budget. The rest, though, is to come from EU member states. “The member states have to finance 2 billion plus X,” he says. Germany contributed around 500 million euros to the first tranche, but will likely have to pay more this time around – both because the Commission itself has less money available and because it isn’t clear whether Britain will continue to contribute its share.

There is even opposition within Gabriel’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) to cutting Turkey’s pre-accession assistance. Jens Geier, head of the German SPD caucus in European Parliament, says: “A portion of our funding serves to strengthen civil society. As such, it often helps those who stand up to Erdogan.”

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Sistemi Politici, Unione Europea

Erdogan. Turki in Germania non votate Frau Merkel.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-08-19.

Merkel 1030

«As of 2016, about ten million of Germany’s 82 million residents did not have German citizenship, which makes up 12% of the country’s population. ….

Regarding the immigrant background, 21% of the country’s residents, or more than 17.1 million people, were of immigrant or partially immigrant descent ….

29% of families with children under 18 had at least one parent with immigrant roots ….

As of 2014, the largest national group was from Turkey (2,859,000) ….

Islam is the second largest religion in the country. In the 2011 census 1.9% of Germans (1.52 million people) declared themselves to be Muslims, albeit the number was believed to be substantially higher» [Fonte]

*

In Germania la comunità turca ammonta a 2.9 milioni, cui si potrebbe aggiungere una quota di persone che si sono dichiarate mussulmane.

In aprile i turki residenti in Germania sono stati chiamati alle urne per dare il loro voto al referendum costituzionale di Mr Erdogan.

«Il sì più forte alla riforma costituzionale è arrivato dal voto dei turchi che risiedono fuori dai confini nazionali. La vittoria più grande Erdogan l’ha incassata in Germania dove alla svolta presidenziale si è detto favorevole il 65% degli elettori. Nel Paese vive la più grande comunità di turchi all’estero, sono circa 4 milioni gli immigrati, 1,5 milioni dei quali aventi diritto. Il voto è stato preceduto da tensioni tra Ankara e Berlino, dopo la cancellazione di comizi di ministri turchi in vista del referendum. C‘è chi celebra il sì ma anche chi si preoccupa dello strapotere nelle mani di Erdogan:

“Temo che Erdogan continui a prendere misure drastiche per fare tutto quello che vuole. Ma l’opposizione si farà sentire, scenderà per le strade. Useremo tutti gli strumenti democratici a nostra disposizione per opporci”, dice Kenan Kolat, del Partito Popolare Repubblicano.

Non solo in Germania ma anche nei Paesi Bassi, in Austria e in Belgio ad avere la meglio è stato il sì, con percentuali in alcuni casi anche superiori al 70%.»

Quindi, il circa milione e mezzo di turki residenti in Germania ha appoggiato il referendum di Mr Erdogan, ed in modo compatto-

Una persona democratica avrebbe commentato che quello era il libero risultato delle urne, e si sarebbe compiaciuto che il popolo avesse espresso la propria opinione.

Manco p‘ ‘a capa.

I tedeschi dettero di matto a questo risultato perché la Bundeskanzlerin Frau Merkel aveva dichiarato Mr Erdogan suo nemico personale, in quanto non avrebbe condiviso i principi valoriali della Cancelliera. Secondo Frau Merkel i turki residenti in Germania avrebbero dovuto votare non in scienza e coscienza, bensì in accordo a quanto desiderato dalla Bundeskanzlerin.

Si potrebbe dire che Frau Merkel abbia un concetto molto personale di democrazia.

In ogni caso, il dato di fatto è che i turki in Germana sono pro Erdogan.

«Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Friday said German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats were enemies of Turkey and called on Turks in Germany to vote against major parties in next month’s elections.»

*

«I am calling on all my countrymen in Germany: the Christian Democrats, SDP, the Green Party are all enemies of Turkey. Support those political parties who are not enemies of Turkey»

*

«a furious response from Merkel»

* * * * * * * *

Ccà nisciuno è fesso.

Prima la Bundeskanzlerin Frau Merkel copre di ogni sorta di epiteto Mr Erdogan e la Turkia, quindi cerca di isolarlo politicamente, indi impone sanzioni e non permette che deputati turki entrino in Germania, ed adesso si lamenta che i turki residenti in Germania non la votino: turki sì, fessi proprio no.

Quanti si fossero fatti l’imbecille illusione che i turki residenti in Germania si fossero ‘integrati‘ e la pensassero come i tedeschi avrebbero preso un abbaglio madornale.

Ma talmente madornale da autorizzare a pensare che imbecilli non fossero stati i loro pensieri, ma loro stessi.


Reuters. 2017-08-19. Erdogan tells Turks in Germany to vote against Merkel

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Friday said German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats were enemies of Turkey and called on Turks in Germany to vote against major parties in next month’s elections.

The comments, some of Erdogan’s harshest yet against Merkel, drew a furious response from Merkel, her government and some Turkish organisations in Germany, illustrating the widening divide between the NATO allies and major trade partners.

“I am calling on all my countrymen in Germany: the Christian Democrats, SDP, the Green Party are all enemies of Turkey. Support those political parties who are not enemies of Turkey,” Erdogan said after Friday prayers in Istanbul, urging ethnic Turks in Germany to “teach a lesson” to those parties.

Ties between Ankara and Berlin have been strained in the aftermath of last year’s failed coup as Turkish authorities have sacked or suspended 150,000 people and detained more than 50,000 people, including German nationals.

“We will not tolerate any kind of interference,” said Merkel in response at a campaign event in the western city of Herford, while her foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel described the remarks as “unprecedented” interference with Germany’s sovereignty.

Germany has voiced concern that Erdogan is using the coup as a pretext to quash dissent. Erdogan, an authoritarian leader whose roots are in political Islam, has accused Germany of anti-Turkish and anti-Muslim sentiment.

Gabriel urged ethnic Turks to use their vote regardless. “Let’s show those who want to set us against each other that we are not playing their game,” he added. Community leader Atila Karaborklu accused Erdogan of wanting to divide Germany’s Turkish communikty.

Germans go to the polls on Sept. 24 for elections where Merkel is running for a fourth term. Her conservatives enjoy a comfortable lead over the Social Democrats (SPD), their current coalition partner and major rival.

Western governments, particularly Germany, have expressed apprehension at Erdogan’s tightening grip on power. In April, Turks narrowly backed a referendum to change the constitution and grant Erdogan sweeping executive powers.

In the run-up to the referendum, German authorities prevented Turkish politicians from speaking to rallies of Turkish citizens in Germany, infuriating Ankara.

Turkey also blocked Berlin lawmakers from visiting their troops stationed in southern Turkey. The troops were later relocated to Jordan.

Merkel has also said there would be no expansion of a customs union or deepening in EU-Turkish ties, comments which infuriated Turkey.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Senza categoria, Trump, Unione Europea

Turkia. Trump manda le congratulazioni, Merkel una supplica.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-04-18.

2017-04-18__Turkia__001

«He’s not a Dictator, He’s a Democrat»

Questo è il titolo dell’editoriale di Patrick Kingsley sul The New York Times, che prosegue dicendo “he has unfettered support from Turks who like the idea of a strong leader standing against external aggression” e termina con la ovvia conclusione “Turkey May Finally End Its Long Flirtation With the E.U.

* * *

Al di là delle diatribe di vil bottega ideologica, i titoli tedeschi esprimono alla perfezione ciò che è successo nei fatti con il referendum turko.

Germany warns Turkey not to ‘end the European dream’

Merkel urges ‘respectful dialogue’ in Turkey after referendum

* * *

Ma chi mai sarebbe ad oggi la Bundeskanzlerin Frau Merkel? La quale, per di più da domenica prossima avrà perso il fedele scudiero, Mr Hollande, palafreniere del fu-socialismo rampante?

*

E chi mai sarebbe Mr JC Juncker?

«European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker has warned Turkey that any return of the death penalty would be a “red line” in the country’s stalled EU membership bid.

“If the death penalty is reintroduced in Turkey, that would lead to the end of negotiations,” he told Sunday’s edition of Germany’s Bild newspaper, calling it a “red line”.»

A riprova di quanto sia compatta l’Unione Europea, questa sarebbe la posizione del Cancelliere austriaco:

Referendum result means Turkey now “far away” from Europe: Austrian chancellor

*

Il socialismo ideologico di Mr Juncker contrasta con l’invocazione lanciata da Frau Merkel.

Di quando in qua si fa politica regolando i rapporti internazionali su giudizi partigiani nelle politiche interne di altre nazioni?

Sai quanto se ne fanno Mr Putin, Mr Xi e Mr Trump.

Trump congratulates Erdoğan on referendum win.

Turkey referendum: Trump congratulates Erdogan.

Trump congratulates Turkish President Erdogan on referendum victory. – China Org

La Realpolitik impone di prendere atto che Mr Erdogan da fatto transitare la Turkia da stato parlamentare a stato presidenziale.

«Europe’s spine has cracked. This referendum will be the most effective thing in the rebirth of the Ottoman Empire. Europe has to look at itself.»

*

«it reflects the profound polarization of Turkish society.»

*

Sembrerebbe che ci si sia dimenticati come la Turkia sia uno stato profondamente islamico.

Il Presidente Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

ha semplicemente riesumato l’Impero Ottomano.

Il quale Impero ha contro l’Unione Europea, e la Germania in particolare, un’arma micidiale:

Erdogan ai turchi che vivono in Europa: “Fate almeno cinque figli, il futuro è vostro”

Erdogan calls on Turkish families in Europe to have five children to protect against ‘injustices’ 

‘You Are the Future of Europe,’ Erdogan Tells Turks

‘You Are Europe’s Future’: Erdogan Tells Turks Abroad To Have 5 Children.

 Turkey__002


Hurriet Daily News. 2017-04-18. Trump congratulates Erdoğan on referendum win

U.S. President Donald Trump congratulated President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on April 17 in a telephone call after his narrow victory in a constitutional referendum, the Turkish Presidency’s press office said.

The call came a day after more than 51 percent of Turks voted in favor of 18 constitutional amendments that will, among other things, see Turkey switch from a parliamentary to an executive presidency with vastly enhanced powers for Erdoğan.

Trump’s message came in contrast to a message released by the State Department, which cited a report by international observers who had noted “irregularities on voting day and an uneven playing field during the difficult campaign period.”
The two leaders also discussed an alleged chemical attack by the Syrian government on April 4 that killed approximately 100 civilians and injured 500 others in the opposition-held town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province.

Investigators in Turkey and elsewhere believe sarin gas was used in the attack.

Trump and Erdoğan agreed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the attack.

The U.S. president also thanked Turkey for its support for U.S. missile strikes on the Shayrat air base on April 7 in retaliation for the chemical attack.

Both leaders also stressed the need for cooperation in the fight against terror groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).


Bbc. 2017-04-18. Turkey referendum: Trump congratulates Erdogan

Donald Trump has congratulated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his victory in Sunday’s referendum that gave him sweeping new powers.

*

The US president’s phone call contrasts with concern by European leaders who have pointed out how the result – 51.4% in favour of the changes – has exposed deep splits in Turkish society.

Mr Erdogan has rejected criticism from international monitors who said he had been favoured by an “unequal campaign”.

“Know your place,” he told them.

The narrow victory was ruled valid by Turkey’s electoral body, despite claims of irregularities by the opposition.

On Monday, Turkey extended the state of emergency for three months. The measure, introduced after a failed coup last July, was set to expire in two days.

Is Trump support a boost for Erdogan? Mark Lowen, BBC News, Istanbul

The call from Donald Trump was pre-arranged and the focus was Syria – but the congratulations for President Erdogan’s victory means the US president joins leaders from Qatar, Guinea, Djibouti and the Palestinian militant movement Hamas to voice the opinion, while those in Europe have been far more cautious.

It will delight Erdogan supporters, who will see it as legitimising the president’s victory. But it will dismay opponents, after Mr Erdogan’s fiery tirades against the West and the damning verdict of international observers.

It also exposes a split between the EU and US on Turkey: Mr Trump opting for realpolitik while Europe urges the unpredictable Turkish leader to reconcile a divided country.

And it will reiterate similarities between Presidents Trump and Erdogan on issues like democratic norms and press freedom – though the Turkish president has of course dealt with them in a far more extreme way.

Ultimately, President Trump was perhaps aiming to win favour in Ankara, given that the two sides have fundamental disagreements over Syria.

What are the disagreements about?

Syria is one of the issues straining relations between Washington and Ankara.

Turkey is irked by the policy started by the Obama administration of supporting Kurdish fighters in Syria who are fighting IS forces.

Turkey views the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) as a terror group linked to Kurdish separatists waging an insurgency inside Turkey since 1984.

Turkey – a key Nato ally – has established closer co-operation with Russia recently.

The two sides are also at loggerheads over Fethullah Gulen. Turkey accuses the Pennsylvania-based cleric of orchestrating the failed coup and wants him extradited.

Officially Washington insists any decision on returning him to Turkey from the US remains a judicial rather than a political one.

What have European leaders said?

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that the “tight referendum result shows how deeply divided Turkish society is and that means a big responsibility for the Turkish leadership and for President Erdogan personally”.

The European Commission issued a similar call.

Others expressed concern about the possibility of the return of capital punishment.

The French president’s office warned that any referendum on reviving the death penalty would “obviously be a break with values and engagements” that Turkey had accepted in joining the Council of Europe. The president of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, tweeted his own concerns.

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz went further. He said the referendum result was a “clear signal against the European Union”. The “fiction” of Turkey’s bid to join the bloc must be ended, Mr Kurz said.

Why are international monitors concerned?

Despite saying that the voting day was “well administered”, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe criticised the referendum campaign, and the Council of Europe said the vote “did not live up” its standards.

The monitors also criticised a late change by electoral officials that allowed voting papers without official stamps to be counted. But the head of Turkey’s electoral body, Sadi Guven, said the unstamped ballot papers had been produced by the High Electoral Board and were valid. He said a similar procedure had been used in past elections.

What did the president say about the result?

Mr Erdogan told supporters that Turkey did not “see, hear or acknowledge the politically motivated reports” of the monitors.

The result, he said, ended the debate on changing the constitution and creating an executive presidency, adding that the process of implementing the reforms would now begin.

He also said the country could hold a referendum on its long-stalled EU membership bid.

Additionally, Mr Erdogan said he would approve the death penalty if it was supported in a referendum or a bill was submitted to him through parliament. This would end Turkey’s EU negotiations.

What do the constitutional changes include?

– The president will have a five-year tenure, for a maximum of two terms

– The president will be able to directly appoint top public officials, including ministers and one or several vice-presidents

– The job of prime minister will be scrapped

– The president will have power to intervene in the judiciary, which Mr Erdogan has accused of being influenced by Fethullah Gulen, the Pennsylvania-based preacher he blames for the failed coup in July

– The president will decide whether or not impose a state of emergency.


Bloomberg. 2017-04-18. How Turkey’s Referendum Could Be a Prelude to French Surprise

Undeterred by warnings, particularly from the Western media — including The Economist’s stark caution that Turkey risked “sliding into dictatorship” — voters narrowly approved a referendum proposal on Sunday that expands President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s powers under the constitution. Judging from some of the voter interviews, one of the drivers of this outcome was the Turkish electorate’s hope that stronger leadership can provide greater stability, security and prosperity.

This phenomenon has also played out in other countries, and is likely to continue to have an effect in the months ahead. As a result, neither markets nor political scientists should underestimate what some swing voters are willing to accept, and risk, in their quest for greater national strength, a development that raises interesting domestic and global issues — including possibly in the upcoming presidential elections in France.

With 51.4 percent of the vote in his favor, and an 85 percent turnout, Erdogan now has wider powers over matters of legislation, finance, appointments and civil society. His win comes at a time of significant regional fluidity, including the conflicts in Syria, together with greater tensions in the country’s already delicate relations with Western Europe.

This referendum outcome will embolden the Turkish government: Its first actions postelection included prolonging the state of emergency for three months and signaling the possibility of holding a referendum on reintroducing the death penalty. But it is also generating internal and external push back.

Seizing on reports of irregularities, including by external observers who noted that the referendum fell short of international standards, opposition parties are questioning the legitimacy of the result. The fact that Turkey’s three main cities voted “no” is seen by some as a signal of caution for the government. Meanwhile, in an unusual set of comments, high-level European officials, including Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, have warned the government against extrapolating too much from a vote that they regard as illustrating a deep split in Turkey.

But all this is unlikely to deter the Turkish government from drawing the same types of conclusions as President Donald Trump did from his election victory and the U.K. government did from the Brexit referendum: Unsettled and, at times, angry citizens are looking for stronger leadership to regain control of their destiny. And this comes at a time of “unusual uncertainty” both at home and abroad.

How the trade-off turns out well will depend both on how constructively the Turkish government, and Erdogan in particular, uses the new constitutional powers. In the meantime, both markets and political scientists should remember that what occurred in Turkey on Sunday is partly an illustration of a broader global phenomenon of significant numbers of people showing they are willing to take risks in opting for the promise of stronger leadership to secure greater stability and security. And they seem willing to do so even if it entails weakening longstanding checks and balances, potentially fueling political cults of personality and, perhaps even increasing the threat of an eventual slide into greater authoritarianism.

This phenomenon will probably be tested again in the first round of the presidential vote in France on April 23. Already, the three anti-establishment candidates — Marine Le Pen of the National Front, Jean-Luc Melenchon of the far left, and Emmanuel Macron, who is running as part of a self-declared new movement — have shaken up the country’s politics. In the process, they have out-distanced the insiders Francois Fillon and Benoit Hamon, who have been hampered by liabilities of their own making.

Insights from Turkey’s referendum add to the possibility of a victory by one of the unconventional candidates in France. That includes not only the front-runner Macron but there also is a lower extreme tail risk for Le Pen or Melenchon.


Hurriet Daily News. 2017-04-18. Turkey approves presidential system in tight referendum

Some 51.3 percent of the more than 58 million Turkish voters said “yes” to the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) constitutional amendment package in a tight race to decide on whether to shift to an executive presidential system.

The gap between the two votes stood at around 1.3 million according to midnight figures by the state-run Anadolu Agency. The turnout exceeded 84 percent.

The approval of the amendment package – which was backed by the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and opposed by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the third largest party in parliament – means an administrative shift will take place in 2019 if no early elections are held.

However, the ruling party is expected to call for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to return to lead the AKP, something that was officially forbidden in the former system due to the constitutional impartiality of the president.

The most debated change in the 18-article package was the granting of executive powers to the elected president, who can pick his cabinet ministers from outside parliament.

Accordingly, the parliamentary and presidential elections will be held on the same day every five years.

The president can appoint one or more vice presidents. The vice presidents will represent the president and will be able to use the authorities of the president in the event that the presidential post has become vacant for any reason. Vice presidents and ministers can be appealed to the Supreme Court by the same procedure as the president, and will benefit from the provisions of immunity about offences not related to their duties.

The “No” vote prevailed in Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir, the three largest cities in Turkey, with 51.3 percent, 51.1 percent and 68.8 percent of the vote respectively.

The “Yes” vote reflected the AKP’s dominance in the Black Sea region, while “No” votes dominated in most southeastern provinces, where the Kurdish-issue focused HDP is strong.

In votes cast overseas, the “Yes” camp won 59.27 percent while “No” votes won 40.73 percent. In Germany, “Yes” won 63.19 percent with 269,036 voters, while the “No” side won 36.81 percent with 157,467 voters.

Tensions ran high between the two NATO allies before the referendum, with Germany canceling several campaign rallies by Turkish ministers on German soil, drawing accusations from Turkey of “Nazi tactics.”

Tensions were also high point between the Netherlands and Turkey due to the former’s banning of campaign events by Turkish ministers. Family Affairs and Social Policies Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya was prevented by Dutch police from reaching Turkey’s consulate in Rotterdam on March 11 after being told not to enter the Netherlands to conduct political campaigning for the referendum. Kaya was subsequently deported to Germany by Dutch police early on March 12. In the Netherlands the “Yes” side won 69.93 percent of the vote and 47,911 votes, while the “No” side stood at 30.07 percent in the Netherlands with 20,602 votes.

“No” votes prevailed in the United States with 83.26 percent and 3,362 votes, while 16,719 Turkish citizens voted “No” in the United States.

With the new amendments, elections can be renewed by both parliament and the president. If the parliament decides in favor of a re-election by 360 votes, parliamentary and presidential elections will be made at the same time.

In addition, all military courts are lifted apart from disciplinary ones.

The configuration of the Constitutional Court has also changed, with the number of members reduced to 15 from 17. Twelve members will be appointed by the president while three will be appointed by parliament.

The name of the Supreme Board of Judges and Elections will be changed into the Board of Judges and Elections. The number of members will be cut to 13 from 22. The minister of justice will be the head of the board, while the undersecretary of the Justice Ministry will be a regular member. Four members will be appointed by the president, three by parliament, three by the Supreme Court, and one by the Council of State.

The president will have the authority to issue budgets for approval by the parliament.

With the change, the number of MPs will be increased to 600 from the current 550. The minimum age to be elected will be reduced to 18 from 25.

Debate on a parliamentary inquiry can be initiated about any misconduct of the president regarding presidential duties by the votes of 301 lawmakers. However, the parliamentary inquiry can only be initiated with 360 votes. If the inquiry concludes that the president has committed misconduct, a minimum 400 votes will open the path to appeal to the Supreme Court. The procedure will also be applicable after the term of the president ends.

Pubblicato in: Medio Oriente, Senza categoria, Unione Europea

Turkia. Mr Erdoğan nomina direttamente i nuovi rettori.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2016-11-17.

 istanbul-004

Tutto richiede il suo tempo per maturare. Nulla si attua in modo istantaneo.

Se è del tutto ragionevole cercare di supportare la propria visione del mondo e portarla a conoscenza al più vasto pubblico possibile, sarebbe altrettanto ragionevole prendere atto che ugualmente possono tranquillamente esistere modi differenti di intendere ed agire.

Così, visioni differenti potrebbero sia contrapporsi muro contro muro, magari evolvendo anche ad uno scontro armato, sia, più ragionevolmente, dovrebbero trovare un come modus vivendi. Usualmente gli accordi sono sempre più vantaggiosi degli scontri.

Nel rapportarsi agli altri, l’Occidente è incorso negli ultimi decenni in alcuni severi errori di valutazione, il peggiore dei quali è stato il voler esportare ed imporre la propria Weltanschauung. Questo atteggiamento mentale e nella prassi è determinato dal fatto che l’Occidente o, meglio, la sua attuale dirigenza pro tempore, è convinta a livello di credo fideistico di essere nel giusto e di rappresentare la giustizia sulla terra. Cosa che sarebbe tutta da dimostrare.

Il secondo errore, che deriva strettamente dal primo, è una stordente ipocrisia comportamentale. L’Occidente considera giusto e perfetto ciò che fa, condannando aspramente chi facesse lo stesso ma non su suo ordine.

Negli anni sessanta, quando l’Occidente rendeva ragione di oltre il 90% del pil mondiale ciò che l’Occidente decretava gli altri dovevano subirlo senza fiatare, ma ad oggi ove l’Occidente genera un po’ più del 40% del pil mondiale i desideri dell’occidente restano tali e gli altri si comportano come meglio ritengono essere opportuno.

È stato in altri termini optato per un atteggiamento di scontro pericoloso quanto improduttivo, che ha aperto straordinari orizzonti alla concorrenza politica ed economica nel governo del mondo.

«China’s popularity …. is strong. Its policy of not linking aid and investments to human rights and good governance has made Beijing many friends on the continent, beyond its authoritarian governments». [Deutsche Welle]

*

Gli scontri improduttivi, ovvero quelli persi, impongono però un rinnovo della dirigenza: e questo è il fenomeno in atto in Occidente, piaccia o non piaccia.

Australia. Il senato blocca i matrimoni gay. Riflessi sulla politica mondiale.

Australia. Asylum seekers banditi a vita dal loro territorio.

Polonia – EU al round finale sulla Corte Costituzionale.

Germania. Spd propone legge sui migranti.

Trump vs Clinton. La sorpresa delle preferenze francesi.

Prosegue e si allarga la rivolta all’impèrio mondiale. Gambia.

Cina. Una diplomazia alla conquista del mondo.

Eurozona. Si inizia a parlare di una riforma.

Cina. È diventata il maggiore investitore nell’Europa dell’est.

*

Se nell’ambito dell’Unione Europea i movimenti politici eurocritici stanno conquistando fette sempre maggiori di elettorato e nelle prossime tornate elettorali in Austria, Italia, Olanda, Francia e Germania potrebbero anche condizionare fortemente la formazione dei relativi governi, il Brexit è stato un colpo severo. I segni della disgregazione sono evidenti. Mr Trump ha ricevuto con grande ostentazione Mr Farage e non ha nemmeno risposto alla lettera di Mr Juncker.

Dall’altro lato dell’Oceano Atlantico questo sommovimento è esitato nel trionfo di Mr Trump alle elezioni presidenziali: Mr Trump è un outsider, ossia una persona senza legami con l’establishment attualmente dominante negli Stati Uniti. Non supportato dal proprio partito ed avversato con ogni mezzo da quello rivale, il nuovo presidente degli Stati Uniti rappresenta l’elemento di rottura che dovrebbe concretizzarsi in una Realpolitik da parte dell’America.

*

Quanto detto è prolegomeno per comprender quanto stia succedendo in Turkia.

L’Unione Europea e gli Stati Uniti hanno preso distanze da quanto successo recentemente in Turkia, arrivando al punto di dimenticarsi sia di quanto avessero concorso in passato a generare una situazione esplosiva sia del fatto che, bene o male, la Turkia è paese membro della Nato.

A voler essere precisi, però, più che Unione Europea e Stati Uniti sono stati i loro attuali dirigenti: dirigenti in via di disarmo, ad iniziar da Mr Obama, il cui partito non è riuscito a vincere le elezioni presidenziali, e che a fine gennaio scomparirà dalla scena politica.

*

Il Presidente Erdoğan ha fatto né più né meno quello che in Occidente fanno le logge massoniche. Perché mai biasimarlo?

Non ci si venga a raccontare che in Occidente l’amministrazione della giustizia sia un potere autonomo: è il braccio armato della massoneria. Serve solo a fare processi politici ed a condannare i nemici del sistema.

Nel caso specifico, ovunque i rettori sono nominati dalla proprietà: è quindi del tutto ragionevole che in Turkia essi siano nominati da Mr. Erdoğan. Forse che in Occidente si potrebbe trovare anche un solo rettore che non sia massone?

Forse che in Occidente si potrebbe trovare anche un solo rettore che non applichi rigorosamente le quote rosa, oppure che sia “pro-life”, antiabortista e che non condivida, e quindi non applichi, la teoria del gender? Se uno osasse tanto lo farebbero dimettere immediatamente, anche se ben più spesso sarebbe trascinato davanti ad una corte di giustizia penale.

Ci si pensi su molto bene.

La Turkia è una nazione geopoliticamente e militarmente strategica. Deciderà Mr Trump come ci si debba comportare.


Hürriyet Daily News. 2016-11-13. President given power to directly appoint rectors to universities in Turkey

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will be able to appoint rectors to universities directly without having to consider the preferences of academics following the imposition of the latest state of emergency decree on Oct. 29. 

The regulation brings an end to the practice introduced in 1992, which states that rector candidates are elected by the academics at the universities in question before being presented to the president, who can either accept the recommendation or choose another scholar as rector.

The authority to directly appoint rectors was part of an omnibus bill that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) sought to pass after the attempted July 15 coup, widely believed to have been masterminded by followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, but was retracted after the opposition parties fought against it.

With the new regulation, the president will choose from three rector candidates determined by Turkey’s Higher Education Board (YÖK) for state universities. However, the president will be able to appoint a rector directly if he does not select one of those presented by YÖK within a month and the body does not present a new candidate. The rectors will be able to work for a maximum of two terms in state universities. 

In addition, with the new state of emergency decree, Turkish authorities have dismissed a total of 10,131 civil servants over suspected links to Gülenists and other groups. 

Thousands of academics, teachers and health workers were among those removed through the new decree, while 15 media outlets, all of which focused on the southeast or socialist causes, were shut down.

According to the decree, members of “terrorist organizations or groups involved in activities against the country’s national security or those in contact with terrorist organizations or groups” have been dismissed.         
Some 32 officials from the parliament, 183 from the Court of Cassation, 249 from the Directorate of Religious Affairs, 2,534 from the Justice Ministry, 102 from the Foreign Ministry, 2,219 from the Education Ministry, 2,774 from the Health Ministry and 101 from the Turkish Armed Forces were also removed from their positions. A total of 1,267 academics were also dismissed with the new decree, including many from prestigious universities. 

A total of 1,082 police officers, including former, retired and dismissed have been stripped of their ranks by the decree due to their alleged links to the Gülenists. Their respective gun licenses, retired police identification cards, pilot licenses and ship crew documents and passports were also canceled. The officers will not be assigned again to the civil service, and they cannot benefit from rights that come with their ranks. They also cannot establish a private security firm or partner or be employed by a private security firm.

Fifteen media outlets, including Dicle News Agency; Azadiya Welat, Jin News Agency, Evrensel Kültür Magazine and many newspapers and magazines were closed by the decree over their alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). In total, two news agencies, 10 newspapers and three magazines were shut down with the new degree. 

Separately, the permanent press cards of journalists Hasan Cemal and Doğan Akın were canceled, the Directorate General of Press and Information of the Prime Ministry said on its website.

Meanwhile, a restriction has been introduced against those who have been charged over terrorism, coup plotting or any crime against the state. The aforementioned convicts’ meetings with their lawyers will be listened to and recorded. Authorities will be able to seize documents used in the meetings between the convict and the lawyer, will be able to end the meetings immediately and will also be able to limit the days or hours of the meetings. These restrictions will be ended upon a decision by judges. The Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office will also be able to ban meetings for six months.

Additionally, convicts charged with the aforementioned crimes will be able to bring three lawyers to the hearings at most. The hearings will continue even if the lawyers of the convicts leave the court room without stating a reason, the emergency decree states. 

A small number of people also returned to their post as part of the new decree, with 39 soldiers, including two generals, three parliament personnel, 31 Education Ministry personnel and one Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) staff member returning to their posts. 

Changes were also introduced to the practices of the Defense Ministry. The new state of emergency decree paves the way for all graduates of engineering faculties to become pilots in the Air Force, which comes amid a shortage in the number of pilots in the army due to dismissals after the failed coup attempt. 

Separately, the decree said those who were injured during the July 15 coup attempt would receive the title of war veteran.

Pubblicato in: Geopolitica Mondiale, Unione Europea

Putin il Grande. Dopo il Brexit Erdogan chiede scusa.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2016-06-28.

 baciamo-le-mani

Estraiamo dal sito ufficiale del Kremlin.

«Владимиром Путиным получено послание Президента Турции Реджепа Тайипа Эрдогана

Владимиром Путиным получено послание Президента Турецкой Республики Реджепа Тайипа Эрдогана, в котором турецкий лидер выразил свою заинтересованность в урегулировании ситуации, связанной с гибелью российского военного самолёта.

27 июня 2016 года 15:55

В послании, в частности, отмечается, что Россия является для Турции другом и стратегическим партнёром, с которым турецкие власти не хотели бы портить отношения. «У нас, – подчёркивает Реджеп Тайип Эрдоган, – никогда не было желания и заведомого намерения сбить самолёт, принадлежащий Российской Федерации».

Далее говорится, что, «взяв на себя все риски и приложив большие усилия, мы забрали тело погибшего российского пилота у сирийских оппозиционеров и привезли его в Турцию. Организация предпохоронных процедур была проведена в соответствии с религиозными и военными процедурами.

Вся эта работа была проведена нами на уровне, достойном турецко-российских отношений. Я хочу ещё раз выразить своё сочувствие и глубокие соболезнования семье погибшего российского пилота и говорю: извините. Всем сердцем разделяю их боль. Семью российского пилота мы воспринимаем как турецкую семью. Во имя облегчения боли и тяжести нанесённого ущерба мы готовы к любой инициативе».

В послании также отмечается, что в отношении гражданина Турции, имя которого ассоциируется со смертью российского пилота, начато и ведётся судебное расследование.

Реджеп Тайип Эрдоган выражает своё глубокое сожаление по поводу произошедшего и подчёркивает готовность делать всё возможное для восстановления традиционно дружественных отношений между Турцией и Россией, а также совместно реагировать на кризисные события в регионе, бороться с терроризмом.»

*

«Vladimir Putin ha ricevuto il messaggio del Presidente della Turchia Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in cui il leader turco ha espresso il suo interesse per risolvere la situazione connessa con la morte di un pilota di un aereo militare russo.

In particolare il messaggio evidenzia come la Russia sia di amica e partner strategico della Turchia, con la quale le autorità turche non vorrebbe rovinare i rapporti. “Noi – sottolinea Recep Tayyip Erdogan – non abbiamo mai desiderato né avuto l’intenzione di abbattere un aereo che sapevamo appartenere alla Federazione Russa. ….

Voglio ancora una volta esprimere la mia solidarietà e le mie più sentite condoglianze alla famiglia del pilota russo defunto e chiedere scusa. Condivido con tutto il cuore il loro dolore. Un pilota russo che percepiamo come uno della famiglia turca. Per alleviare il dolore, data la gravità del danno inflitto, siamo pronti ad assumere ogni qualsiasi iniziativa.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan ha espresso il suo profondo rammarico per l’incidente e sottolinea la volontà di fare tutto il possibile per ristabilire i rapporti tradizionalmente amichevoli tra la Turchia e la Russia, nonché congiuntamente rispondere agli eventi di crisi nella regione per combattere il terrorismo».

* * * * * * *

Lettera di Mr. Erdogan a Mr. Putin, inviata il giorno dopo il Brexit.

Adesso sappiamo chi conta in Europa.

Nota.

Il mio russo è rudimentale, ma la traduzione dovrebbe essere ragionevole.

 

Sole 24 Ore. 2016-06-27. Erdogan si piega davanti a Putin: «Chiedo scusa per l’aereo abbattuto»

Alla fine il pragmatismo ha avuto la meglio sull’orgoglio, e Recep Tayyep Erdogan ha chiesto scusa. «Non abbiamo mai avuto il desiderio o l’intenzione di abbattere quell’aereo», scrive il presidente turco in un messaggio pubblicato sul sito del Cremlino. L’aereo è il bombardiere Su-24 colpito e precipitato il 24 novembre scorso presso il confine tra Turchia e Siria, confine che il jet avrebbe violato – secondo Ankara. Alla famiglia del pilota russo rimasto ucciso Erdogan ora esprime «la mia partecipazione e le più profonde condoglianze: scusate. Condivido il loro dolore con tutto il cuore. Per noi saranno come una famiglia turca. Per alleviare il dolore e la gravità del danno arrecato, siamo pronti a fare qualunque cosa».

Era quello che Vladimir Putin pretendeva, in questi mesi di gelo che ha bruscamente paralizzato i contatti economici e commerciali tra Mosca e Ankara. A quella che il presidente russo aveva definito «una pugnalata traditrice nella schiena» era seguito il bando sull’import in Russia di generi alimentari turchi, blocco ai pacchetti vacanze delle agenzie di viaggio, misure restrittive per le aziende turche impegnate in Russia.

E incertezza generale sul fronte del gas, le forniture e il destino del progetto Turkish Stream. Per tutto questo, aveva anticipato lunedì il premier turco Binali Yildirim, si stanno preparando «sviluppi positivi». E infatti Erdogan nel suo messaggio a Putin fa subito seguire alle scuse l’interesse a normalizzare la situazione con un partner strategico, a rilanciare i tradizionali rapporti di amicizia tra la Turchia e la Russia, a reagire congiuntamente alla crisi che il Medio Oriente sta attraversando, a lottare contro il terrorismo.

In queste parole si nascondono gli sviluppi che lo sblocco del confronto Mosca-Ankara potrebbe avere sulla guerra in Siria, e in cui con ogni probabilità rientra anche la simultanea normalizzazione – dopo cinque anni – dei rapporti tra Turchia e Israele.

 

RT. 2016-06-27. Erdogan apologizes to Putin over death of Russian pilot, calls Russia ‘friend & strategic partner’

Russian President Vladimir Putin has received a letter in which his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan apologized for the death of the pilot who was killed when a Russian jet was downed over the Syrian-Turkish border last November, the Kremlin said.

Erdogan expressed readiness to restore relations with Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.

The incident involving the downing of the Russian Su-24 bomber led to the worst deterioration of Turkish-Russian relations in recent history, with Russia describing it as a “stab in the back.” 

The head of the Turkish state expressed his deep sympathy and condolences to the relatives of the deceased Russian pilot and said ‘sorry,’” Peskov said.

In his letter, Erdogan called Russia “a friend and a strategic partner” of Ankara, with whom the Turkish authorities would not want to spoil relations.

“We never had a desire or a deliberate intention to down an aircraft belonging to Russia,” the letter read, according to a statement published on the Kremlin website.

According to the statement, Erdogan’s letter stressed that “the Turkish side undertook all the risks and made a great effort to recover the body of the Russian pilot from the Syrian opposition, bringing it to Turkey. The organization of the pre-burial procedures was conducted in accordance with all religious and military procedures.”

Ankara has treated the family of the dead Russian pilot as if it were a Turkish family and is “ready for any initiatives to relieve the pain and severity of the damage done,” the letter said.

The address by the Turkish leader also informed that a criminal investigation has been launched against the person suspected of killing the Russian pilot, the Kremlin said.

In addition, Erdogan expressed readiness to tackle security challenges in the region and fight terrorism together with Moscow.

Turkish Hurriyet newspaper reported that sources close to Erdogan have confirmed that the letter with the apology was sent to Moscow.

On November 24, 2015, a Russian Su-24 bomber, taking part in an anti-terrorist mission in Syria, was brought down by the Turkish Air Force.

The plane crashed in rebel-held territory in Syria near the Turkish border. The pilots ejected, but one – Lieutenant Colonel Oleg Peshkov – was killed by machine gun fire from the militants on the ground.

Turkish nationalist Alparslan Celik has claimed responsibility for Peshkov’s death.

Ankara claimed that it attacked the Russian bomber for violating its airspace, but was never able to provide proof that any wrongdoing took place.

Moscow vigorously denied the Turkish claims, calling the downing of the plane “a stab in the back” from a state which it had considered an ally.

Russia reacted strongly to the incident, imposing a wave of sanctions against Turkey, which affected trade, tourism, joint energy projects and other areas.

From the start, the Kremlin made it clear that restoration of normal relations with Turkey would be impossible without Ankara apologizing and paying compensation to the pilot’s family.

The news of Erdogan’s apology had a positive effect on Turkey’s currency. The Turkish lira rallied to 2.9330 from 2.9430 against the US dollar, Reuters reported.

Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, will take part in a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, due to take place in the Russian resort of Sochi on July 1, Turkish NTV channel reported.

An invitation to participate in the event was sent to Cavusoglu by Russia’s Foreign Ministry last week.

Pubblicato in: Geopolitica Europea, Unione Europea

Austria. Ministro Kurz. Punto della situazione.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2016-06-06.

 Austria. Vienna. Schloß Schönbrunn 001

«Sebastian Kurz, 29, has been Austria’s foreign minister for the past two years. Before that he was state secretary for three years. He is seen as one the conservative Austrian People’s Party’s (ÖVP) greatest hopes for the future.»

*

Sulla situazione austriaca è stato detto ad alta voce tutto ed il contrario di tutto: solo la verità è stata sussurrata flebilmente in un orecchio sordo.

Mr. Kurz è molto giovane e milita nell’Austrian People’s Party’s (ÖVP).

Difende il suo paese, e questo è un bene; difende criticamente il suo partito, ed anche questa è cosa corretta.

Non sembrerebbe essere un viscerale, e ciò sarebbe benedizione del Cielo.

Sembrerebbe infine molto focalizzato ad una sua prossima rielezione in Parlamento, e questo sembrerebbe averlo reso decisamente molto pratico.

«Vienna alza i toni sulla questione migranti. Il ministro degli esteri Sebastian Kurz del partito popolare Övp propone che i migranti in viaggio verso l’Europa vengano bloccati e portati su delle isole. “Non è un caso – dice Kurz in un’intervista al quotidiano Die Presse – che gli Stati Uniti abbiano portato i migranti a Ellis Island, un’isola, prima di decidere chi poteva raggiungere la terraferma”. Secondo Kurz, “chi arriva illegalmente in Europa dovrebbe perdere il diritto di chiedere asilo. Essere salvati in mare non deve essere un biglietto per l’Europa centrale”.»

*

«Chi deve attendere su un’isola, come Lesbos, senza possibilità di ottenere asilo, si convincerà più facilmente a tornare indietro di chi abita già in un appartamento a Vienna oppure a Berlino»

*

«l’Europa rischia la frattura, se “alcuni pochi politici mitteleuropei vogliono imporre all’Europa le loro regole, perché si sentono moralmente superiori» [Fonte]

*

Nota importante.

Segue il testo integrale dell’intervista rilasciata allo Spiegel. Non si rimanga tratti in inganno dai termini usati. Il fatto che Mr. Kurz appartenga al partito Popolare Austriaco non significa minimamente che a tale partito importi qualcosa del “popolo“, anzi! Il fatto che le sinistre etichettino l’ÖVP come “conservatore” significa soltanto che l’ÖVP sostiene il socialismo sotto nome diverso: è un partito statalista fino nelle midolla con il mito ideologico dell’Europa ben radicato nella mente.

Corollario.

Lo Spiegel è il tempio dei socialisti ideologici e della massoneria tedesca, quasi quanto il Deutsche Welle. Si entra in quelle redazioni per fede comprovata.

Come si conviene, rigurgita di giornaliste di assalto, brutte, sgraziate, incolte ma fedelissime al partito, tutte unite a discriminare eventuali colleghi maschi che non siano almeno d’altra sponda. Però, per intervistare Herr Kurz lo Spiegel ha mobilitato Walter Mayr e Mathieu von Rohr. Questa volta fanno sul serio.

* * * * * * *

«SPIEGEL: In recent presidential elections, almost 50 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots for Norbert Hofer, the candidate of the right-wing populist Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ). This came as a shock for many people in Europe. Do you have an explanation?»

*

«Kurz: Yes, and it is not as simple as the one that is sometimes given. There is, first of all, a serious dissatisfaction with the government and with the political system, in part because important reforms are not taking place. The second main reason is the refugee crisis.»

*

«Kurz: The elections were free and democratic, and any result would have to be accepted.»

*

«SPIEGEL: Is the FPÖ representative a politician whom Austria must apologize for?»

*

«Kurz: We would have explained that the election was fair and democratic — regardless whether one likes the result or not.»

*

«Kurz: I do not see the use in insulting half of Austrians as fascists and idiots. It is not just our country that has shifted to the right. More and more people in the middle are unhappy. Clearly the established parties have, for a long time, thought it to be a matter of course they would get elected»

*

«Kurz: You would probably like me to draw conclusions about the future of the Grand Coalition (between the center-left Social Democrats and the conservative Christian Democrats) in Germany. I cannot say anything about that. In practice in Austria, the model has become ever more unpopular in the last few years, because both parties have obstructed each other on important issues. But the change in chancellor to Christian Kern provides an opportunity. It will probably be the last one.»

*

«Kurz: Right now, we should be filling in the divides — and doing so by taking people’s existing concerns seriously. We in Austria have always had lots of immigration. But when one starts, as happened in Europe last year, to open the borders and to transport people northwards as fast as possible, then of course it’s not just Syrians who come. People from all around the world then see their chance to quickly come to Europe»

*

«Kurz: The Turkey deal can only be Plan B. Plan A needs to be a strong Europe that is prepared to defend its external borders on its own. If we do not do that, then we are living in a Europe that is dependent — on other countries, and possibly even on personalities like President Erdogan. And dependency is dangerous»

*

«Kurz: The people need to be rescued, but that cannot be packaged with a ticket to Central Europe. That only promotes the influx. We need to become active as fast as possible in Libyan waters, so that the people cannot even embark for Italy.»

* * * * * * *

Poniamo adesso una sola domanda.

I migranti arrivati via mare in Italia potrebbero raggiungere la Germania passando dalla Francia, dalla Svizzera, dall’Austria oppure dalla Slovenia.

Per quale strano motivo dovrebbero passare solo attraverso l’Austria?

 

Spiegel. 2016-06-05. Austrian Foreign Minister Kurz: ‘Europe’s Values Cannot Be Negotiable’

At 29, Austria’s Sebastian Kurz is the world’s youngest foreign minister. He speaks with SPIEGEL about the rise of the far right in his country and Europe, the immigrant crisis and the dangers of dependence on Turkey.

*

SPIEGEL: Foreign Minister Kurz, in recent weeks, the entire world has been watching Austria, which is rather rare. How does it feel?

Kurz: It depends on the occasion. We are not always totally happy about how we are portrayed.

SPIEGEL: In recent presidential elections, almost 50 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots for Norbert Hofer, the candidate of the right-wing populist Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ). This came as a shock for many people in Europe. Do you have an explanation?

Kurz: Yes, and it is not as simple as the one that is sometimes given. There is, first of all, a serious dissatisfaction with the government and with the political system, in part because important reforms are not taking place. The second main reason is the refugee crisis. In Austria last year, we had 90,000 asylum applicants — the second-largest per capita figure in all European countries. There was a phase of uncontrolled influx into Europe. Many politicians tried to tell the people that this is not a problem in terms of security or integration. Both led to a strengthening of right-wing populist parties, which is not purely an Austrian phenomenon.

SPIEGEL: Even you, a conservative, had to choose between a representative of the Green Party and one from the FPÖ in the May 22 vote. Which one did you vote for?

Kurz: I made my choice responsibly as a citizen.

SPIEGEL: You don’t want to say?

Kurz: The elections were free and democratic, and any result would have to be accepted.

SPIEGEL: Why did your party, the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), not issue any endorsement?

Kurz: Both governing parties, the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) and the ÖVP, decided not to make any endorsements for the runoff. Many people believe a recommendation from the government may even have harmed its recipient.

SPIEGEL: German Deputy Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, a member of the Social Democrats, recommended that Austrians not vote for Hofer. Was that a welcome endorsement?

Kurz: Commentators say that, at best, Sigmar Gabriel’s advice was welcomed by Hofer because it actually may have driven some voters toward him (laughs). Jokes aside, I believe the interest from across Europe to be a positive thing.

SPIEGEL: Now, for the first time, you have a Green Party head of state in the form of Alexander Van der Bellen. What are your expectations?

Kurz: I expect that he will fulfill his role in a very dignified manner.

SPIEGEL: Your ministry had made preparations in anticipation of having to explain Hofer’s election outside the country. Is the FPÖ representative a politician whom Austria must apologize for?

Kurz: For us, it was about answering potential questions. They were, of course, to be expected. We would have explained that the election was fair and democratic — regardless whether one likes the result or not.

SPIEGEL: Austrian writer Robert Menasse says that people who support FPÖ head Heinz-Christian Strache are “patriots who don’t know that they’re fascists.”

Kurz: I do not see the use in insulting half of Austrians as fascists and idiots. It is not just our country that has shifted to the right. More and more people in the middle are unhappy. Clearly the established parties have, for a long time, thought it to be a matter of course they would get elected.

SPIEGEL: Have the traditional mainstream parties in Austria run out of steam, along with the decades-long model of a Grand Coalition, placing the ÖVP and the SPÖ in a government together?

Kurz: You would probably like me to draw conclusions about the future of the Grand Coalition (between the center-left Social Democrats and the conservative Christian Democrats) in Germany. I cannot say anything about that. In practice in Austria, the model has become ever more unpopular in the last few years, because both parties have obstructed each other on important issues. But the change in chancellor to Christian Kern provides an opportunity. It will probably be the last one.

SPIEGEL: There is discomfort not only with established parties, but also with the European project across the entire Continent. Was Austria a precursor, so to speak, with this election?

Kurz: Yes, of course. When we look at the situation in the EU, we need to honestly admit that it desperately needs to develop further, that we need to strengthen it when it comes to the bigger questions — and allow member nations to make more decisions about the smaller questions themselves.

SPIEGEL: More direct responsibility at the national level is one of the FPÖ’s main demands.

Kurz: Then you can also accuse me of sharing the opinion of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who is also in favor of this. I would like to have a Europe that has a strong foreign and defense policy, ensures economic growth and is active in addressing the issues of the refugee crisis. But perhaps not one that imposes new regulations on allergens that requires food menus to be changed everywhere. When that happens, it creates the feeling that the wrong priorities are being set.

SPIEGEL: Is Austria a divided country?

Kurz: Right now, we should be filling in the divides — and doing so by taking people’s existing concerns seriously. We in Austria have always had lots of immigration. But when one starts, as happened in Europe last year, to open the borders and to transport people northwards as fast as possible, then of course it’s not just Syrians who come. People from all around the world then see their chance to quickly come to Europe.

SPIEGEL: Austria reacted by closing the western Balkan route.

Kurz: That was overdue. There was massive resistance to our plans. But I think it has now been recognized that it was the right step.

SPIEGEL: In Berlin too?

Kurz: I have regular contact with German ministers and parliamentarians, and have received very positive feedback.

SPIEGEL: The German chancellor and the interior minister complained at the time about Austria “going it alone.”

Kurz: It wasn’t a case of “going it alone.” It was a regional measure, coordinated with our neighboring states.

SPIEGEL: In Germany, some insinuated that Austria was reverting to the imperial era and throwing its weight around as a regional power in its former sphere of influence.

Kurz: We are neither a regional power nor are the Balkans our sphere of influence. These are self-confident countries. We should be particularly thankful to Macedonia, a country that has taken on a very difficult task without profiting from it. Quite to the contrary: Instead of praise, there was criticism from the international media. The reason for our decision was that we were being massively overstretched — we had to stop the influx. Whether that also had a positive impact in Germany, that judgment must be made there.

SPIEGEL: Did you have the feeling you were doing the Germans’ work on their behalf, and then being scolded for it?

Kurz: If you put it that way yourself, then I, of course, don’t have to (laughs). We have, thank God, a very good relationship with the German government. There were resentments, but they’ve been resolved. Germany is the strongest player and Angela Merkel is the strongest government leader in the EU.

SPIEGEL: What was the primary reason for the decrease in refugee numbers: the agreement with Turkey or the closing of the Balkan route?

Kurz: We should not set off individual achievements against each other. The closing of the western Balkan route, however, was a considerable contribution. Even the Greek foreign minister recently admitted as much. It has become less attractive for people to make their way to Europe. Working together with Turkey can be a further building block. It may be able to create short-term relief. But I also warn against us relying on the Turkey deal. Otherwise we may ultimately be left in the lurch.

SPIEGEL: Are you afraid that Europe is making itself dependent on Turkey?

Kurz: The Turkey deal can only be Plan B. Plan A needs to be a strong Europe that is prepared to defend its external borders on its own. If we do not do that, then we are living in a Europe that is dependent — on other countries, and possibly even on personalities like President Erdogan. And dependency is dangerous.

SPIEGEL: Control of the external EU border is a nice catchphrase, but how is that supposed to work, for example, off the Libyan coast?

Kurz: The people need to be rescued, but that cannot be packaged with a ticket to Central Europe. That only promotes the influx. We need to become active as fast as possible in Libyan waters, so that the people cannot even embark for Italy.

SPIEGEL: What would be the alternative to the deal with Turkey?

Kurz: The issue is, first of all, joint protection of the EU’s external borders. Secondly, more humanitarian aid is needed (in the areas where the flight originates), so that living conditions there improve. And thirdly, we should say clearly: It is we in Europe, and not the human traffickers, who decide whom we take in. Whoever wants to enter illegally has forfeited their chance. At the same time, countries like Austria and Germany are declaring themselves willing to bring some of the poorest of the poor to Europe through resettlement programs. The decision cannot merely benefit the young men who are fit enough to withstand the journey. We do not have to immediately grant someone who arrives in Lesbos the right to move into an apartment in Berlin. Once we communicate that message, Europe will become significantly less attractive.

SPIEGEL: How do you know that?

Kurz: I am also integration minister and speak with many refugees. When I ask if they came with the goal of living in Greece or Poland, most of them answer “no.”

SPIEGEL: Is the Turkey deal actually working in practical terms? So far only a few hundred people have been sent one way or the other.

Kurz: Chancellor Merkel got Turkey to cooperate through perseverance. There has at least been a serious effort on the Turkish side to prevent people from setting off for Europe. Recently, only about 100 people have been arriving in Greece per day. Last year, it was several thousand daily at times. This effort can, however, also very quickly dwindle.

SPIEGEL: Political developments in Turkey are worrisome. The immunity of lawmakers was recently lifted. Is this a result of the deal — because Erdogan now has free rein?

Kurz: Not a result of the deal, but a matter of fact. How we deal with it is crucial. Europe’s fundamental values cannot be negotiable. Keyword visa-liberalization: There cannot be any exceptions for Turkey either.

SPIEGEL: Erdogan is threatening to terminate the agreement, which creates the impression that he is pushing the Europeans around.

Kurz: If we Europeans are not in a state to be able to solve the refugee crisis ourselves, if we only depend on Plan B with Turkey — then that is not simply an impression, it is the truth. But Europe cannot be susceptible to blackmail or be weak. I am, in any case, not in favor of having a deal with Turkey at any price.

SPIEGEL: Turkey is refusing to reform its anti-terror law. Do you think that the liberalization of visa regulations will still take place this year?

Kurz: That depends. I have gotten the sense in the last year that developments when it comes to human rights are very alarming. In the long term, it needs to be in our interest to have a Turkey in which human rights are respected. Anything else would mean destabilization right on our border. If we look away, the developments in Turkey will constantly get worse.

SPIEGEL: Is your warning also aimed at Angela Merkel?

Kurz: No, I do not mean the German chancellor. I mean all of us, we Europeans. We need to show the necessary strength together.

SPIEGEL: Could the Turkish model be repeated in an African country — that governments demand money in exchange for stopping migrants?

Kurz: Of course.

SPIEGEL: It looks likely that the upper ceiling Austria has established for the number of asylum applicants it wants to accept each year will be reached this autumn. Then what?

Kurz: Then it will be necessary to turn people back at the Austrian border.

SPIEGEL: Will Austria close the Brenner Pass if a growing number of refugees arrive from Italy?

Kurz: We would like to avoid having to do inspections at the Brenner Pass. That would also be difficult for us for emotional reasons, because of the connection to South Tyrol.

SPIEGEL: Now, at the age of 29, you have already been in government for five years and are seen as the only person who can still save your party, the faltering ÖVP. Why aren’t you grabbing the reins and reaching for power, as the new party head or as a candidate for chancellor?

Kurz: That is a non-issue, because we have a party chairman and deputy chancellor in the form of Reinhold Mitterlehner. He has my full support.

SPIEGEL: In 2000, your party formed a coalition government with the right-wing populist FPÖ under the leadership of Wolfgang Schüssel. Would you rule out a repeat?

Kurz: The candidate from the FPÖ just received almost 50 percent of the votes. If they do half as well during the next parliamentary election, it may no longer be possible to have a coalition without the FPÖ. At the moment, I cannot rule out any coalition, whether it is one between the SPÖ and the FPÖ, or the ÖVP and FPÖ or one that is a purely FPÖ government — but I will work to ensure that things to do not go that far.

SPIEGEL: Foreign Minister Kurz, we thank you for this interview.