The Battle of Ankara Was Won on the Cinema Screens of Berlin

As noted in several recent posts, the Turkish regime under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is pushing hard in Germany for support among expatriate Turks for the constitutional referendum that would make His Excellency into Il Duce of the Bosphorus.

The video below from German TV shows the extent to which supposedly independent Turkish cultural organizations are campaigning for Mr. Erdogan in Germany. As summarized by PolitikStube:

Openly campaigning for Turkish constitutional referendum in German documentary

The Turkish constitutional referendum is being decided in Germany as well. About 1.5 million people in Germany are registered to vote in Turkey. Therefore Erdogan’s supporters push an aggressive campaign in Germany. People who openly stand against the referendum are bullied and threatened, and in the movie theaters a movie that praises and glorifies Erdogan is being shown. Many of the activities are organized by the UETB, the Union of European Turkish Democrats, which has been accused for a long time of being Erdogan’s right hand in Europe.

Many thanks to Nash Montana for translating the video and text, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:


0:00   The Turkish president as a hero of the masses,
0:03   surrounded by enemies and victorious in the end.
0:06   These are pictures from a cinematic movie
0:09   that started showing in multiple German movie theaters last week.
0:12   And this fits perfectly into a campaign
0:15   which in Germany also advertises that the Turkish president
0:18   can act in any way he wants in the future as well.
0:21   Good evening, and welcome to MONITOR.
0:24   For weeks now, the campaign has been going on
0:27   for a constitutional referendum in Turkey which only has one goal:
0:30   to secure President Erdoğan’s sole power in the country.
0:33   It’s a campaign which poisons the mood in Turkish communities.
0:36   Here in Germany as well, and in which everyone is declared to be a terrorist
0:39   that dares to disagree and vote NO against the President.
0:42   It is a targeted campaign which drives a deep,
0:45   significant wedge between Germans and Turks, Turks and Kurds,
0:48   Turks and Turks.
0:51   Who is behind all this in Germany is now investigated and shown to you
0:54   with Stefan…, Andreas…, and Hussein…
0:57   Cologne-Deutz, this man is afraid, and he doesn’t want to be shown,
1:00   although the story the he has to tell
1:03   has become daily life in Germany in the meantime.
1:06   Ever since the campaign for the referendum in Turkey has
1:09   got underway in Germany as well, this Turk has been shunned
1:12   by other Turks at his place of work, because he is for “No”.
1:15   “In the past we have always voiced our different opinions at work,
1:18   but we could always speak with each other.
1:21   But now when you walk into the office,
1:24   people don’t even say hello anymore, and if you speak
1:27   about some harmless thing, colleagues that have a different opinion
1:30   demonstratively walk out and leave the room.
1:33   The community is deeply divided and the referendum escalates everything.
1:36   It is a divide that is now being widened further and further.
1:39   But who is behind it?
1:42   We are in Ahlen, Westphalia, a small town with a large Turkish community.
1:49   There’s an irritable mood at the market, a loud argument,
1:52   it’s about an easy question, “Yes” or “No” on the referendum
1:55   in Turkey.
1:58   The opposition has washed your brain.
2:01   Shame on you!
2:04   The question, who is a real Turk here, and who is a traitor?
2:07   “I love my country but,
2:10   I don’t love Tayyip Erdoğan,
2:13   his politics are all wrong, no freedom of opinion,
2:16   everybody that says anything different,
2:19   goes to prison, everything is censored…”
2:22   “I don’t believe anything you are saying, I don’t believe it.”
2:25   The lone Erdoğan objector meets opposition wherever she goes,
2:28   “At least I voice my opinion!”
2:31   “Sure, someone who makes their country look as bad as you do!”
2:34   But we, as well, were not welcome in the Turkish community at all.
2:37   Hostility.
2:40   “Tell us your opinion! No?”
2:43   In front of the mosque we are accosted harshly:
2:46   That the German media twists the facts,
2:49   that they are prejudiced against Erdoğan,
2:52   that they don’t want to accept that everybody here
2:55   will vote “Yes” in the referendum.
2:58   The mood is irritable. A few meters down from the mosque
3:01   is the travel bureau “Side Reisen”. The owner Niyazi Güler is one of a few
3:04   who dares to speak openly. The owner has openly criticized
3:07   Erdoğan’s party, the AKP.
3:10   Since then he has lost a lot of clients.
3:13   “Since I have taken a political stance, people who have been customers
3:16   of mine for many years don’t come in anymore.
3:19   I have seen it, I have heard it, and I have noticed it too,
3:22   that they (the AKP supporters) incite hatred
3:25   against me among the people.”
3:28   Niyazi Güler is a member of the Integration Council.
3:31   He is against the fact that AKP members are meddling
3:34   with the community, and he went and spoke to the mayor.
3:37   “The people called me anonymously and said,
3:40   you are taking this too far, you have to be careful,
3:43   and on one evening they
3:46   smashed the windows of my business, my travel agency;
3:49   even the owners of the cafés told me,
3:52   you’d better not come into our businesses anymore.”
3:55   Shut out from the community, branded a traitor,
3:58   where does this hate come from?
4:01   From here! Turkish President Erdoğan states in this speech
4:04   that all who intend to vote “No” in the referendum,
4:07   can be more or less equated with terrorists.
4:10   “On one side we have a separatist terror organization
4:13   that wants to divide the country.
4:16   And then there are those who combine efforts
4:19   with the terrorist organization,
4:22   and we now see, the terror organization says, “No”.
4:27   Eyüp Alikilic works for a Turkish news website.
4:30   When the editorial team championed
4:33   the imprisoned journalist Deniz Yüzel,
4:36   the insults began on the Internet.
4:39   Yüzel was a clear proponent of “No”, but was reported
4:42   as a terrorist to the LKA (Landeskriminalamt = State office of criminal investigation).
4:45   He is convinced that this was the doing of Erdoğan supporters.
4:48   “I was reported using my real name, and they said
4:51   that I was preparing terror attacks and whatnot,
4:54   and that… I guess I think that, well..,
4:57   the action by the police in order to protect
5:00   state security was a preventive measure and it was OK,
5:03   and I understand that, but it’s just really sad that one has to then present
5:06   proof that he’s not forging passports, or supporting terrorists with money,
5:09   stuff that he has absolutely nothing to do with.”
5:12   Whoever says “No” is a terrorist:
5:15   this equation from Turkey obviously asserts itself in Germany as well.
5:18   The mood in Germany is being especially poisoned
5:21   by the so-called UETD,
5:24   the Union of European Turkish Democrats.
5:27   ‘EVET!’, “yes”, those are the good ones’, and “No”, those are the terrorists.
5:30   On the UETD websites, under the word ‘HAYIR’,
5:33   which means “No”,
5:36   even the Islamic State terrorist Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is pictured.
5:39   And then, this one.
5:42   In larger movie theaters in Germany soon a movie will be shown
5:45   that will fit in perfectly with the campaign for the referendum.
5:48   “REIS”, a cinematic biography of the life of Erdoğan.
5:51   The movie is advertised for almost exclusively
5:54   on Turkish websites; it is clear
5:57   who the intended target audience is.
6:00   — “Will you watch the new Erdoğan movie?” —“Of course.”
6:03   —“I came all the way from Aachen to here just to watch the movie.” —“Really?”
6:06   —“And why, are you a huge fan of Erdoğan?” —“He is the best man.”
6:09   “There is this campaign now, for and against a change to the constitution,
6:12   what do you say to this?”
6:15   “Pro! Evet! We are Evetce!
6:18   We want Evet to pass!”
6:25   The movie glorifies the Turkish President, and according to a press release,
6:28   contains the significant phrase:
6:31   “Democracy is merely the train that we board until
6:34   we have reached the destination.”
6:37   Democracy is merely a transitional phase, the movie says.
6:40   Is this a campaign advertisement? And who brought the movie to our theaters?
6:43   It is advertised in the pages of the UETD,
6:46   various theaters such as Cinema Hof
6:49   even organize the presentations.
6:52   Is the UETD to blame for the division of the Turkish community in Germany?
6:55   According to statements by their functionaries,
6:58   they are non-profit and bipartisan.
7:01   They are perfectly organized, and they have about
7:04   60 local branches in Germany, all the way down into the smallest communities.
7:07   Are they in reality the operational basis
7:10   for Erdoğan’s State Party, AKP, in Germany?
7:17   Hasan Tuncep, city representative in Mühlheim,
7:20   has had personal experience with the UETD.
7:23   After an article critical of Erdoğan, a local UETD representative
7:26   kicked off a personal hate campaign against him on the Internet.
7:29   “What I said about the Union of European Turkish democrats’
7:32   contributing to the fact that the insults
7:35   and the threats have become more aggressive,
7:38   as a result of that he
7:41   uploaded the whole thing again,
7:44   with my personal data, my phone number.”
7:47   And in this way Tuncep was targeted directly.
7:50   “Supporter of terrorists”, “who is this freak of nature”,
7:53   and “one has to poison rats like that”.
7:56   The UETD functionary writes us that he
7:59   doesn’t tolerate calls for violence,
8:02   that he had deleted the hate comments in the meantime.
8:05   Does both the pressure on the “No” sayers, and the campaign
8:08   for “Yes”, come directly from the same corner?
8:11   We want to ask. We asked the UETD for an interview.
8:14   First they put us off to the next day,
8:17   and then for days we don’t get any answer.
8:20   But we give it a go nonetheless.
8:23   “Stucklich here from MONITOR, hello?
8:26   We wanted to talk to you about how you campaign for Erdoğan here?
8:29   Hello?”
8:33   What is clear in any case is that the chairman of the supposed bipartisan UETD,
8:37   Zafer Sırakaya, won’t hide the fact
8:40   that he is openly campaigning for Erdoğan’s “Yes”.
8:47   All of us we will of course vote “Yes” for the constitutional referendum,
8:50   he says at this event. The moderator then thanks him,
8:53   and then he calls Sırakaya “the vice president”
8:56   of Erdoğan’s “Yes” campaign outside of Turkey.
9:06   The senior chief of the UETD is at the center of Erdoğan’s
9:09   campaign in Germany,
9:12   This does not look like bipartisanship.
9:15   We drive to Leverkusen to a Turkish cultural event.
9:18   The Turkish economic minister is invited;
9:21   he is on a campaign tour. The event’s organizer assures us
9:24   that his event has nothing to do with the referendum.
9:27   “We are a cultural organization; he is therefore only here
9:30   because of cultural event, and concert.”
9:33   Only cultural, then.
9:36   The many cameras film the triumphal welcome of the minister.
9:39   He says… not a word.
9:43   After that, two hours of music and dance follow.
9:46   But the media does not seem to be interested in that much;
9:49   apart from us, almost everybody leaves the room.
9:52   Outside in the hallway, we suddenly discover the man again
9:55   who is the supposed vice president of Erdoğan’s “Yes” campaign.
10:00   Zafer Sırakaya, Senior Chairman of the UETD.
10:03   What is he doing here?
10:06   “Good evening! Stucklich from German TV,
10:09   good evening… would you give us an interview?”
10:12   When in the hall only the cell phones of the spectators are left filming,
10:15   it becomes suddenly clear why this man is actually here.
10:18   Because suddenly the Turkish minister steps onto the stage.
10:21   We manage to film his appearance from offstage behind the scenes;
10:24   what now follows is little culture, and much campaigning.
10:27   “I bring you the greetings of the Turkish State president,
10:30   Recep Tayyip Erdoğan!”
10:36   And then he cites Erdoğan’s campaign slogan directly:
10:39   ‘nothing will stop us!’.
10:53   Two hours later, in Cologne, we try to talk to the minister
10:56   about his appearance in Leverkusen.
10:59   The man should — according to official information — speak fluent German.
11:02   “One question for German TV, why do you campaign here?”
11:05   Oh, he says, let us speak about this later,
11:08   not here in this chaos.
11:11   But… one already knew, this opportunity would never arise.
11:15   We travel back.
11:18   Not only are the ministers being imported from Turkey,
11:21   but also hate and aggression.
11:24   Out of Ankara it is said the campaign for the referendum
11:27   has only just begun. This sounds like a threat.

7 thoughts on “The Battle of Ankara Was Won on the Cinema Screens of Berlin

  1. I wonder who the producers of the Erdogan movie casted as the goat?

  2. I wonder how the Turkish government would react to 1.5 million Germans living in their country?

    • they would be happy! 1.5 millions jobs and more for illiterate cleaning women and gardeners.A bonanza for the lokal trade and restaurants & so on.

  3. Erdogen is a thug. He thinks by behaving like an Ottoman coloniser, he will force his opinion on others. I hope his irrational behaviour lets Geert Wilders into government in Holland.

  4. Great video, very informative of the situation. I pity those Turks in Europe with the Anti Erdog. opinions.

  5. Why is Erdogan even bothering with this charade? Is there any power within Turkey, including elements of the armed forces, strong enough to have a hope of successfully resisting him, should he unilaterally declare himself god-emperor, or whatever it is he is seeking to do. Is this a show for the sake of the world, or more specifically, the EU, to at least pretend at a democratic process (leading to the effective abolition of democracy)?

  6. If Germany and her people no longer have the will to terminate open sedition and prosecute its organizers then Germany is finished as a nation.

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