Turkey’s far-right MHP spreading racist propaganda abroad, says German gov’t

Turkish nationalist protesters flash the grey wolf sign and hold placards during a protest against Germany on June 2, 2016 in front of the Germany consulate in Istanbul. / AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE

Turkey’s far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has been increasingly exerting influence over the Turkish government and spreading racist propaganda abroad, the German federal government said in response to a parliamentary question posed by the Left Party , Deutsche Welle (DW) Turkish service reported.

After France banned the activities of supporters of the MHP known as the Grey Wolves in November 2020, German politicians started debating whether they should follow France’s lead and ban the group as well.

The parliamentary question was posed by Ulla Jelpke of the Left Party and concerned a complete ban on the activities of the Grey Wolves in Germany. Jelpke said the Grey Wolves were responsible for many violent crimes in Turkey and asked whether the German government would consider banning the group in Germany.

The federal government said they were committed to working against extremism and would review the request.

Emphasizing that the MHP had fascist tendencies, Jelpke said Germany could not cooperate with Turkey under these conditions. “[President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan is aware of the declining sympathy towards his rule, therefore he is allying with a fascist group,” she said.

Jelpke said the MHP was an “invisible party” in all of Turkey’s negotiations and meetings with Germany, which was becoming embarrassing for Germany.

The questionable activities of the MHP were not restricted to Turkey as members of the MHP and the nationalist movement were also becoming highly provocative in Germany, Jelpke said. According to the federal government, members of the nationalist movement in Germany were known to resort to violence during demonstrations concerning the Turkish people and Turkey.

In its response, the German government also expressed concern over the increasing influence of the MHP on the Turkish government and especially on new legislation.

“The federal government has observed that the Turkish government is incorporating the requests from the MHP into Turkish law. Moreover, the number of people with links to the MHP have been increasingly installed in state institutions,” they said.

Germany’s Federal Criminal Police (BKA) registered 24 threats against Turkish-German politicians who had criticized the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) between October 2016 and March 2021. They emphasized that this was merely the recorded number of threats and that the real number could be much higher.

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