Der Spiegel: Pro-Erdoğan Sites Take Aim at Critics in Germany

The cover of one of the previous issues of Germany's Der Spiegel newsweekly.

Influential German newsweekly Der Spiegel wrote that Erdoğanist websites like the Ottoman Generation and Muslim Mainstream have become gathering points for supporters of Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Germany and they are also being used to incite hatred against the Erdoğan’s critics.

According to the magazine, since March 27, when the polls opened for the 1.4 million Turks eligible to vote in Germany, Erdoğan followers bustling about online are simmering with excitement at the prospect of further expanding their president’s powers. But they’re skipping over the comment threads on Facebook pages like Muslim Mainstream and News Special 24. These pages only have around 10,000 users. By contrast, a page called Ottoman Generation, which evokes Turkey’s historic grandeur, has already been liked 50,000 times.

Describing how pro-Erdoğan blogs and websites are targeting and insulting Erdoğan critics, Der Spiegel wrote that “Cem Özdemir, a Turkish-German politician, is one of the most-hated figures for these Turkish online groups. A video of the Green Party leader voting ‘no’ in the referendum has gone viral in recent days on Facebook. He’s almost exclusively referred to as ‘Götdemir’ in comment threads online. ‘Göt’ means ‘butt’ in Turkish. ‘Sonofabitch,’ ‘shameful bastard’ and ‘half-bake’ are among the more flattering disparagements.”

According to the news report in the magazine, Erdoğan followers are also taking aim at Can Dündar, the former editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet daily. “A picture of him is circulating online in which his mouth has been replaced with an anus. And people are hoping that Deniz Yücel, a German-Turkish journalist currently detained in Turkey, “will die a miserable death in jail,” wrote Der Spiegel.

Writing that a blogger named Bilgili Üretmen, in particular, has taken aim at Deniz Yücel, who is the Turkey correspondent for the conservative German daily Die Welt, the newsweekly wrote that “Üretmen uploaded a photo of the journalist on his Facebook profile as the cover image, signed with ‘#FCKYücel.’ Üretmen underscores his messages by giving his videos titles like #YESwithapunchinthefaceYES” (more than 140,000 views) and encouraging a ‘collective morning barf’ via livestream (more than 20,000 views) on the day of the Dutch parliamentary election in March.”

April 10, 2017

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