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|Title:||The Turkish campaign in Germany. Rising tensions between Berlin and Ankara|
|Publisher:||Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW), 2017|
|Series/Date:||OSW Commentary No.234 (23.03.17)|
|Source Origin:||Professional/public/political organisation, Think Tanks|
|Source Type:||Article - Blog/Journal/Series|
|Notes:||The influx of migrants to Germany and the conclusion of an agreement between the European Union and Turkey intended at stopping migrants from coming to the EU have shown that Germany’s internal policy is being increasingly influenced by decisions made by the Turkish government. The agreement might have introduced new dynamics to German-Turkish relations and brought about closer co-operation between the two countries but the situation became seriously complicated following a failed coup d’état in Turkey in July 2016 and President Erdogan’s response to it. Mass arrests and repression in Turkey are seen in Germany as an instrument of consolidation of Erdogan’s power, which is increasingly morphing into an oppressive authoritarian regime. Turkey’s plan to change the country’s constitution and to hold a referendum on it is perceived in this context.
The three million-strong Turkish diaspora in Germany, of whom nearly a half have the right to vote, makes bilateral relations between the two countries important. Campaigns ahead of subsequent elections in Turkey increasingly lead to the transferral of Turkey’s internal conflicts to Germany and spark tensions between Berlin and Ankara. Recently, the dispute has grown fiercer because of a referendum campaign in Turkey which Turkish politicians are also running in Germany. As for Germany, the Bundestag election campaign has begun and public opinion is calling on the government to take firm action and to condemn the political purges in Turkey, which have also extended to those with dual German-Turkish citizenship. Chancellor Merkel has been forced to act with more determination towards Turkey while seeking an agreement regarding migration issues, security policy and the fight against terrorism. Her task will be made more difficult not only due to the Turkish government’s confrontational attitude but also due to pressure from the Social Democrats and opposition parties in Germany.
|Keywords:||Relations between Germany and Turkey - Turkey: Political situation - Recep Tayyip Erdoğan - Constitutional reform | Reform of the Constitution - Move towards Presidentialism | Authoritarianism - Presidential system - Media / Press freedom - Freedom of speech / expression - Authoritarianism / Threats to democracy|
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