Frequently asked questions: Protests in Turkey

Why are you supporting the protests in Turkey?

A lot of people in Turkey came together to demonstrate for a change. I learned that the protest is not only about trees in a park. It is about a lot of diverse matters and in general about how politics works. I think in general it is the role of politicians to support people who want a change towards a better and just society. In Gezi Park a lot of people with different views came together and united peacefully. Praying Muslims were next to secular Kemalists and LGPTQ people. This is the spirit Erdoğan should use for a new Turkey and not destroy it. The massive violence and threats against this people are a shame. We have to stand up against it!

Police violence is happening also at other places now, why are you not speaking up against this?

I am opposing police violence against peaceful demonstrations like we see in Turkey these days. I am also aware that violence also happened inside the European Union. I am also condemning these. But I think now it is especially important to show support and solidarity with the peaceful protesters in Turkey.

Haven’t you supported Erdoğan before?

Erdoğan was on a good way in certain policies and implemented some good reforms. I supported this way of reforms. But he did not continue with it. He even offered a tentative roadmap for the Kurdish people – It is ironic that instead, he is now using the “deep state” to dismantle the achievements of the positive aspects of the Kemalist revolution, to turn back the time on the secular developments in Turkey. I always criticized him, when I had the impression he made grave mistakes or did wrong. I criticize his way now.

You had a dispute with the leader of the CHP Kılıçdaroğlu about his statement that “Erdoğan is like Assad“. Wasn’t he right?

No, I don’t think so. What happens in turkey is violating the human rights and is very brutal and inhuman violence from the police. I stand with the people who are suffering now and think Erdoğan is doing wrong. Still it is different to Syria where there is an ongoing civil war since months. It doesn’t helps or makes the situation better for anyone to say it is the same. Kılıçdaroğlu also said that „Hitler had at least not gased entire cities“ This is first of all not true and second of all hurts people who suffered under Hitler’s regime. Sayings like this are not necessary to condemn the behavior of Erdoğan. The role of politicians is to try to understand and not to paint black or white. But this dispute should not play a role now. The important thing now is to stop the violence.

What are you doing to help the people in Turkey?

The European Parliament had a debate and passed a resolution. Erdoğan also reacted to it and said he is not interested. I think it is important to use all our diplomatic means to help now and will closely watch the situation.

You can find the resolution here