Despite perceived German slights, Erdogan to head to G20 summit

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — With leaders from around the world descending on Hamburg for the G20 summit this week and Germany citing security concerns for discouraging Recep Tayyip Erdogan from holding a rally for his supporters, the Turkish president begrudgingly is heading to Europe. 

"Despite everything I will be going," Erdogan said in an interview with France 24.

Erdogan had expressed his desire to hold a rally on the sidelines of the event. He noted 3 million Turks live in Germany, 1.5 million of whom are dual citizens.

“After all, this is a president of the Turkish Republic who has garnered 52 percent of the vote from the presidential elections, and you are preventing me from getting together with his compatriots in Germany and just having a chat. You're preventing that from happening? It just goes to show how liberal the German democracy is,” he explained. 

G20 summits are always politically charged with demonstrators from all sides of the political spectrum often clashing. 

Given the recent clashes between Turkish security officials and protestors outside of the Turkish embassy on Erdogan’s trip to Washington, D.C., in May, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel had called the planned rally “not a good idea” because “we don’t have the police numbers to provide the security needed.”

Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has staunch opposition in Europe in the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and pro-Kurdish parties like the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). The AKP by a 51-to-49 margin pushed through 18 constitutional amendments via national referendum which effectively changes Turkey into a presidential system of governance among other changes.  

"I'll be quite frank with you, I believe this approach of theirs, the German approach, has been quite unfortunate. And my opinion at least when it comes to international politics, when it comes to individual liberties for the progress of democracy ...” said Erdogan. 

Activists held a banner in front of a black Mercedes convertible in Berlin on Monday that read ‘Do you want this car? Slay the dictators!’ On the banner were images of Saudi King Salman, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Erdogan.

"Right outside the chancellery building …” Erdogan said. “So all of this happened in the streets with the German police standing right there before their very eyes, and this was an incitement to commit a crime of violence. And unfortunately German authorities didn't say a thing about it.”

Activists in Berlin present a Mercedes car with a banner featuring Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz reading "Do you want this car? Slay the dictators" on July 3 outside of the German Chancellery. Photo: John MacDougall | AFP

Erdogan continued to defend what he terms fascist-type behavior by the German authorities that meets the definition of Nazism.

"I do not regret it at all because this behavior is one that corresponds to the very definition of Nazism. It is an expression of fascism,” he explained. “And indeed the word fascist is the only one you can fall back on when describing such behavior. It is a fascist-type kind of behavior.

"The same way that we combat terrorism, we should also not allow such behaviors to happen as they are vestiges of fascism or Nazism. German authorities should not have allowed such things. If it had happened in my country, I would have not authorized them.”

Leaders from 20 of the world’s major economies (19 countries and the European Union) will meet for the Group of Twenty (G20) Summit in Hamburg, Germany, on Friday and Saturday. 

Collectively they “account for more than four-fifths of gross world product and three-quarters of global trade, and are home to almost two-thirds of the world's population," according to the G20 website.

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Despite perceived German slights, Erdogan to head to G20 summit Despite perceived German slights, Erdogan to head to G20 summit Reviewed by Defense Alert on 10:35:00 Rating: 5

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