In the following article the German opinion writer Hans Heckel takes a jaundiced look at the political situation in Germany and Turkey in the wake of the migration and the recent failed military coup.
JLH, who translated the piece for Gates of Vienna, includes this brief note:
Here is another of the snide weeks-in-review by Hans Heckel. It is striking to me that this is a journalist in a Berlin-based newspaper who inevitably takes a regime-critical point of view.
The translated article from Die Preußische Allgemeine Zeitung:
The Good Fairy
How Merkel clarified the situation on the Bosporus, how our life is being changed, and why Boris Johnson is an unfortunate choice of bogeyman
The Week in Review by Hans Heckel
July 23, 2016
Why is the man still in power? Wasn’t the era of Erdogan trending to its close last summer already? The Turkish strongman had lost his absolute majority in the June, 2015 elections. And coalitions do not enter into the calculations of someone who is interested in holding all the power.
So new elections were set for November 1, 2015. But the polls showed that the results of June would just be repeated. Erdogan would be forced to cooperate with other parties or would have had to step down as head of his party, so that someone else could do it.
It was infuriating. But then Merkel appeared in October, shortly before elections, and clarified the situation. The Turkish opposition may have had great hopes. After all, the Berlin democrats, including Merkel’s CDU, had always emphasized that they were for the preservation of democracy and human rights in Turkey, and were firmly behind the ravaged opposition.
And yes, there stood Merkel, but only in the sense that one must get behind someone in order to sink a knife into his back. The German chancellor gave the hopeful Turkish opposition its death stroke by showering gifts on the wobbly Erdogan. She offered the prospect of visa-free travel, instant galvanization of the negotiations on Turkey’s entry to the EU (Merkel: “This process has now begun”) and, on top of that, millions more euros would rain down on Turkey. After these revelations, the opposition lay broken, in its own blood. Erdogan stood there radiating victory, and the last undecided voter from Istanbul to Incirlik now knew where he should put his X. If even the head of the biggest democracy in the EU is buttering Erdogan up, he can’t be too bad. On November 1st, Erdogan’s AKP brilliantly won back the absolute majority. The Turks living in Germany gave it 60% of their votes. Thus reinforced, the AKP chief set out to complete those blacklists which he is now processing, pushed along to absolute power by a nebulous/dilettantish putsch.
But why did Merkel play the good fairy for Erdogan? Because the CDU head had stepped knee-deep into the swamp with her “welcoming culture.”
The Turk was expected to keep more masses of asylum-seekers off her back. Or at least to act as if her were doing that, so that Germans would have the impression that something was being done. And in exchange for that, Merkel was prepared to do anything, including putting a knife in the back of the Turkish opposition, who had until this moment seen the German democrats as friends.
Will Erdogan know how to use the Chancellor’s help to finally realize his dream of a radical Islamic dictatorship? Well, we are more optimistic than ever. He can do it! And if there should be a snag, Merkel will be ready to give him a hand again.* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Anyway, she should not lose sight of developments on the home front. To be sure, the AfD is presently trying to get the ruling parties off its back by enthusiastically engaging in self-destruction. But the massacre in Nice, and certainly the young Afghan running amok in the train are causing some unpleasant feelings. The Greens and other politicians are over the moon that mass immigration will fundamentally change German life — especially that of women, we suppose. But now there is the prospect that the lives of many people here could not just be altered, but ended at the hands of one or the other of those who have come here seeking protection and “found asylum among us from war and persecution.” This presentiment causes uneasiness. More and more Germans have a real fear of radical Islamic terrorism. The citizens want to see actions. They are demanding effective protection and political consequences.
Fortunately, the political establishment has recognized the seriousness of the situation and — on the authority of Minister of Justice Maas — is energetically attacking the problem, together with the security organizations, by harassing people who have clumsily expressed their fears on the Internet. That, you see, is hate speech — Hassrede in German. Such language in the Internet is ferreted out by officials and private, government-supported snoopers, including leftist extremists, and can lead to a home visit from the police.
Interior Minister de Maizière says there cannot be complete protection from terrorist attacks. Of course he is right, especially when officials are busy with something else, i.e., tracking down and finding German “hate speakers.” Meanwhile, we really don’t want to find out exactly what is being “spoken” in the mosques supported in Germany by Erdogan’s Turkey. That could lead to “right populists” “exploiting” what is found there.
In the “Trade Paper” in May, Wolfram Weimer reported on a comic book for children published by the Turkish state religious office, Diyanet. Children find wild enthusiasm about a “martyr’s death,” which could be understood as recruiting them for a career as an Islamic suicide bomber. According to Weimer, Diyanet exerts ever closer control over the DITIB (the acronym for the full name of the Diyanet) mosques, and this, in a way, makes the communities advance organizations of the AKP. Do you suppose this is of any interest to Comrade Maas? At any rate, if you should decide to write something slanderous on the Internet about the expansion of mosques in Germany being “a targeted campaign to Islamize the West,” then you could definitely attract the attention of the authorities and their helper-peepers (“PEGIDA jargon”).
What’s your problem? This way, Dangerous and Harmless are transposed, and both are made to look twice as big as they are. Of course that’s how it will be. We always do that, multiplying by two. And for a long time now, not just when it’s about radical Islamic terrorism and the fear and rage of the Germans.* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Shortly after the Brexit referendum, the media and politicians were agitated, because the prominent advocates of London’s leaving the EU had “made themselves scarce” and “avoided responsibility.” The longtime opponent of the EU Nigel Farage and London’s ex-mayor Boris Johnson were at the top of the hit list.
When it became known shortly thereafter, that the new prime minister, Theresa May, had appointed Boris Johnson her foreign secretary, the critics made a remarkable course correction. Now they asked indignantly whether it was fitting that “such a person” as Johnson should become foreign secretary. They are still complaining that he dodged high office, and yet the same people note nastily that he got one. Whatever fits.
Unfortunately, Johnson does not fit into the creation of a bogeyman. With his robust-friendly way, he has even made a conquest on the human level of the foreign ministers in Brussels. For our state-and-corporate media, who like to wallow in relentless Good/Evil contrasts, the simpatico Brit could become a problem.