TURKEY-GERMANY RELATIONS AND THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE SO-CALLED ARMENIAN GENOCIDE LAW DRAFT
1. A couple days ago the German Federal Parliament accepted the draft recognizing the Armenian allegations regarding the events of 1915. How will this decision of the German parliament affect Turkey-Germany relations? What balances will shift, how will the relations Germany maintains with the Republic of Turkey will be damaged by the decision?
Germany has received migrants from Turkey ever since the 1960s. A portion of these workers that went to Germany in the 1960s were from rural areas of Anatolia. Yet, there have also been political migrations as a result of the military coups. Political convicts wanted by Turkey migrated to Germany during the 70s and 80s. It is not possible to say that two million Turks living in Germany are at peace with the Republic of Turkey. Much of the Turkish members of parliament that voted yes are from leftist parties. Yet, here we should say that the Republic of Turkey has failed in organizing its citizens in Germany. The Turks in Germany are divided among themselves (Kurdish, Turkish, the "national vision" movement, the Left ideology, and the nationalist ideology). The most important reason for this divide is ideology. Because Turks in Germany often run restaurants or are from the working class which is divided in itself, they do not have an intellectual influence or do not carry out lobbying activities. The Armenian diaspora used this gap to its advantage, which made the acceptance of the law in the Parliament easier. Even though the Turks in Germany have monetary capital, a significant portion of those with an intellectual background support the Armenian allegations. Those members of parliament who voted yes reflect this social structure. Turkey so far reacted against the states that recognized the Armenian genocide by recalling its ambassadors. Because Turkey's reaction has not been firm (in terms of economic and political sanctions), this has encouraged other states on this regard. However, there is an agreement Turkey can use against Germany regarding the readmission of immigrants. Immediately after the German parliament accepted the law, Turkey announced that it shelved the readmission agreement.
2. Why Germany accepted the law even though Turkey is one of its closest allies?
Germany, with Merkel, has become the most influential state of the EU in terms of decision making. For Germany, two issues are a threat for the future of the EU. The first is the uncontrolled immigrants that can come from Syria to the EU. The second is Turkey as a member of Europe. The moment Turkey becomes a member of Europe with its population of 75 million it will be among the most influential states in the decision making mechanism. Germany and France as the nation-states in this main mechanism of EU state that Turkey is different to their religion and their culture. Both of these countries have the concern that if Turkey becomes a member of EU, they will lose control of the decision making mechanism. By accepting the Armenian allegations as did France, Germany wants to push forward the idea that Turkey is incompatible with the ideals of EU and thus they want Turkey to become introverted in their relations with the EU.
3. What will happen after this?
Turkey may open the doors that lead to Europe for the immigrants. The EU experienced many crises in its history. But none have disturbed the EU states as much as the recent immigrant crisis. Along with the immigrant crisis, whether the EU will disintegrate in the future is also being discussed. Turkey re-opening its doors will cause EU the face the immigrant crisis once more.
4. German Chancellor Merkel did not attend the vote as was expected. Do you think Merkel is giving a message with this?
Merkel by not attending tried to prevent a political crisis between the German state and the Republic of Turkey. Turkey did not find this attitude of Merkel to be enough. Whether Merkel participated in the vote did not change the result. Turkey is offended by Merkel.
5. The implementation of the immigrant agreement between EU and Turkey will now become difficult. Do you think Turkey will break the agreement regarding the immigrants?
The impossibility of the implementation of the agreement is directly proportional to the resignation of Prime Minister Davutoğlu on 22 April 2016. The agreement aimed to reactivate Turkey's relations with EU as result of the vigorous efforts of Davutoğlu. After Davutoğlu, it is not possible for Turkey to do the same efforts. President Erdoğan does not like sit at the table with the EU on such issues. Erdoğan does not think that Turkey's membership in the EU is a must. Erdoğan thinks that Turkey can take care of itself whether EU accepts it as a member or not. With Germany accepting the Armenian law proposal, I do not think that it is possible for Turkey to go on with the agreement under the circumstances.
Vefa Ferec's interview with Yusuf Cinar. For Russian click, http://vesti.az/news/295310