World Bulletin / News Desk
The West is uncomfortable with a Turkey that raises its voice under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, confronting it with its faults and exposing them to the world, the president's spokesman said Sunday.
Speaking to CNN Turk about his latest book "I, the Other, and Beyond," focusing on relations between Islam and the West, Kalin said that Turcophobia in Europe has deep roots and that sometimes it even bigger than Islamophobia among Europeans.
"[With its current extreme-right approach] Europe is bringing back the image of the ‘terrible Turk,’ shaped in the 16th and 17th centuries," he said.
"Westerners, especially Europeans, are troubled by what they see in the mirror because they see their mistakes there."
But instead of learning from their mistakes, the West chooses to attack Erdogan, who holds up a mirror to their faults, according to Kalin.
"They attack Tayyip Erdogan and there is, of course, a group of people especially in Germany, who have a subjective point of view about Turkey and our president," he added.
Asked about recent heavy German media coverage of Erdogan, Kalin said they did this on purpose as a distraction from their own problems such as integration issues at home, including Turkish-origin Germans.
For years now, Erdogan has urged the more than 3 million-strong Turkish expatriate community not to forsake their identity, said Kalin, but unlike in the U.S., European countries force people to retain only their second European identity and let the original identity disappear.
"If you look at pluralism discussions in Europe, it says that it [the system] is sustainable as long as different languages and different cultures are integrated," Kalin said. "What Germans suggest is not integration but assimilation."
Kalin's remarks come after German officials Saturday allowed terrorist PKK followers to march in the city of Frankfurt, in marked contrast to their recently blocking Turkish ministers and politicians from addressing Turkish voters in the country.
According to Kalin, Turkey's recent statements and acts against Germany did not come out of nowhere but rather in response to Germany's "systematic approach" to Turkey's campaigns for its April 16 referendum.
On media reports that Germany allowed the PKK march in retaliation against Turkey, Kalin said if true this is "ridiculous." He added that it was only last week that Germany's Interior Ministry seemingly assured Turkey that pro-PKK symbols or banners were not allowed during demonstrations.
Although Turkey, the EU, and the U.S. consider the PKK a terrorist group, for years it has been openly holding demonstrations across Europe -- mainly in Germany and France.
After the PKK march, Germany’s ambassador to Turkey was summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Saturday and the incident was strongly condemned, according to Kalin.
On Sunday, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag also condemned Germany allowing the marches, adding that neither democracy, nor freedom of expression or freedom of assembly, can explain this move.
"Unfortunately, the German government and officials have embraced the PKK and other terrorist groups," he told reporters in the central Yozgat province.
He stated that Germany is considered a "safe haven" by not only PKK members but also the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) as well as DHKP-C terrorists. FETO's U.S.-based ringleader Fetullah Gulen is the mastermind behind the failed July 15 coup attempt, which left 249 martyred and thousands injured, according to Turkish authorities.
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