In the latest bout of Germanic Erdoğanophobia, as European liberalism reaches new dizzying civilizational heights, several German towns prevented appearances last week by Turkish ministers seeking to address their diaspora on the subject of the Turkish referendum on constitutional change.
They lamely cited security and safety concerns, a cop out which was blown out of the water when speakers opposed to Erdogan were given the nod to speak publicly. The cancellations have infuriated the Turkish foreign minister, who accused Berlin of working against the “Yes” campaign in the referendum, and summoned the German ambassador to complain.
Beside himself with elation at the stupidity of the Germans, which the angry outbursts during the speeches on his tour of towns in Turkey fail to mask, Erdoğan continues effectively to mine the gift of divisiveness which, over the past 23 years, has made him one of the most successful elected politicians of all time. As Barçın Yinanç writes: ‘[Erdoğan] might well be rejoicing over the fact that the Germans have given him a useful opportunity to bash them, which always increases his approval rate.’