Can someone who defends Hamas be received in the Chancellery? Chancellor Scholz defends his planned dinner with Erdogan. The Turkish journalist Can Dündar clearly criticizes this.
The Turkish journalist Can Dündar has sharply criticized Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s upcoming visit to Germany. Because of Erdogan’s statements about the Islamist Hamas and Israel, the conversation with Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) in the Berlin Chancellery should at least have been postponed, said the former editor-in-chief of the German Press Agency’s “Cumhuriyet” newspaper.
He accuses the federal government of playing by the Turkish president’s rules. “Erdogan is the winner of this game even before the visit takes place,” Dündar told dpa. “Germany had to bow to him, knowing that he is a Hamas supporter and calls Israel a terrorist state.”
Scholz had already invited Erdogan to Berlin after his re-election as president in May. After the terrorist attack on Israel that left around 1,200 dead, the Turkish president defended Hamas as a “liberation organization” and condemned Israel as a “terrorist state.” For Germany, however, Israel’s security is a reason of state and Hamas is a terrorist organization.
“A kind of double standard”
Scholz rejected Erdogan’s accusations as “absurd”, but still held on to his invitation. He points out that there are many important topics for discussion, including the revival of the refugee agreement between the EU and Turkey.
“As I understand it, they don’t want to upset Erdogan because they need Erdogan,” says Dündar. Anyone who condemns Hamas must also draw consequences for how they deal with those who support this Islamist organization. In Germany, demonstrations in support of Hamas would be banned. “But at the same time they invite a Hamas supporter and roll out the red carpet for him. That’s weird, a kind of double standard.”
Dündar accused the federal government of sacrificing its ideals for current interests. “When you’re dealing with an autocrat, you should be very clear about what you can accept and what you can’t,” he says. Erdogan is an expert at taking advantage of crises and turning them into opportunities. He did this in the refugee crisis, in the Ukraine crisis and also in the dispute over Sweden and Finland joining NATO. “And now he wants to take advantage of this crisis in Israel again. So if they let him have his way, he will do it.”
Dündar has been living in exile since 2016
Dündar was charged several times in Turkey and sentenced to a total of 27 years in prison, among other things, on charges of supporting terrorism. He has been living in exile in Germany since 2016. During Erdogan’s state visit to Germany in 2018, there was a major discussion about Dündar’s accreditation for the joint press conference between Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and Erdogan. The Turkish journalist ultimately decided not to take part.
At that time, he received a call from the German side in which he was told: “If you come to the press conference, Erdogan will not come and will instead hold his own press conference in the Hotel Adlon.” Dündar says today that he didn’t want the press conference to be canceled because of him. This time he didn’t even get accredited for the visit.
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.