Scores of criminal complaints have been filed in Germany against a lawmaker from Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) who called for the “destruction” of supporters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the faith-based Gülen movement during a meeting of the Grey Wolves in the German city of Neuss.
The Grey Wolves are seen as the paramilitary wing of the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), an ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), and their ideology is mainly based on Turkish nationalism. Therefore, Kurds, Armenians and other minorities in Turkey have occasionally been their targets.
In video footage circulating on social media, AKP lawmaker Mustafa Açıkgöz is seen speaking at a meeting of the Grey Wolves in Neuss.
“Just as we won’t give them the right to live in Turkey, we won’t give them the right to live in Germany, either. No matter where they flee in the world, we will destroy the PKK and FETÖ terrorist groups,” Açıkgöz says, using a derogatory term coined by the Turkish government to refer to the Gülen movement as a terrorist organization.
The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding a failed coup on July 15, 2016 and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international community. More than 40,000 people, including 5,500 security force members, have been killed in four decades of fighting between the Turkish state and the PKK.
The MP further says that they have destroyed the supporters of the two groups in Turkey and will also “pull them out of the holes they have been hiding in anywhere in the world and destroy them.”
Burak Çopur, a Turkish-German professor of political science at Germany’s Essen University, said in a tweet that Açıkgöz was publicly provoking people to commit a crime and that his speech could result in someone attacking and injuring or killing Turkish dissidents in Germany.
Rejim seçim startını Almanya’daki camilerde,Ülkü Ocakları’nda başlatmıştır.
Yer:Ülkü Ocakları Neuss
Konuşmacı:AKP MV Mustafa Açıkgöz
Suç:Halkı suç işlemeye tahrik etme
Sonunda galeyana gelen birisi Almanya’daki muhaliflere saldırıp yaralayacak/öldürecek.pic.twitter.com/hYsql8LkDI
— Burak Çopur (@profcopur) January 15, 2023
Çopur also said German police were processing scores of criminal complaints filed against the AKP lawmaker.
“I hope an investigation will be launched [into the MP],” tweeted former Green member of the European Parliament Rebecca Harms.
Eine Anzeige ist richtig. Ich hoffe, dass die Ermittlungen aufgenommen werden. @polizei_nrw_k
Zur Information auch an @hreul https://t.co/PyKvI8Hjar
— Rebecca Harms (@RebHarms) January 15, 2023
The incident is expected to speed up the banning of the Grey Wolves in Germany, whose “violent tendencies” are said to endanger internal security in a recent report by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), Germany’s domestic security agency.
In 2020 France officially banned the Grey Wolves after a center dedicated to the memory of those who died in the mass killings of Armenians during World War I was defaced with graffiti, including the name of the Grey Wolves.
The German government has faced an intensified public campaign in favor of banning the Turkish nationalist group since then.
Earlier last year, the European Parliament called on the European Union and its member states to examine the possibility of adding the Grey Wolves to the EU terrorist list.
In its 2019-2020 report prepared by Turkey rapporteur Nacho Sanchez Amor, the EP voiced concerns about the group, saying it was expanding to worrying levels not only in Turkey but also in EU countries.