Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is paying a long-awaited state visit to Germany on September 28-29. The Turkish president will travel to the western German city of Cologne which has a strong Turkish community on the last day of his visit. Erdogan will open a newly built mosque in Cologne and tens of thousands of Turks are expected to flock to the city to meet him. He will also have to face some protests of terrorist PKK affiliated groups which are claimed to represent Kurds by the German media. But is that the case? Do all the Kurds or even majority of them for that matter oppose the Turkish president’s visit?
Canan Durna is an Alevi Kurd who was born and raised in Germany. 42 years old cab driver has pictures and videos of the Turkish president all over her Facebook page. She has always been on the front lines whenever there is a pro-Turkey organization not just in Germany but through out Europe. She says German media presenting terrorist PKK-affiliated groups as the sole representer of Kurds in Germany is one of the biggest misleadings in the history of Kurdish existence in Germany. “PKK supporters perceived a lot bigger. Their voice sound much strong through German media. There are two reasons for it. First of the is German media would never reflect Kurds whom support Turkey. And the second reason is Kurds who dont support PKK are afraid to speak up because police simply dont protect us. If we speak up, we may simply be subjected to an attack,” says Durna.
According to Durna whose ancestors moved to Germany from predominantly Alevi province of Tunceli, thousands of Kurds will be at the Cologne Central mosque to support Erdogan and that is an aspect German media would never cover.
Erkan Coban is another Kurd who took the risk of being a target of terrorist PKK-affiliated groups and spoke to us about the upcoming visit of Erdogan. Moving to Germany when he was only 7 years old, Coban is still fluent in Kurdish and spoke to us in his native tongue for the sake of the argument through a translator. “When this footage is aired, this interview is published, I may end up being attacked by those whom try to portray all the Kurds are PKK supporters. That is not the case at all but because of the security reasons Kurds are afraid. But when it matters, during elections, most Kurdish votes go to Erdogan,” he reiterated. Coban said he used to vote for PKK’s Turkish political wing HDP until the so-called peace process. “I gave them up for good because I clearly saw during the peace negotiations between PKK and the Turkish government that neither PKK nor HDP wanted peace for Kurds,” Coban said.
Another Kurd from Diyarbakir who did not provide his name for security reasons said he will also be there to wellcome Erdogan during his belated visit to Cologne. “My father is 86 years old. He barely speaks Turkish but our whole family supports him,” he said when he was playing famous backgammon at a caffe in Mulheim district of the city which is known for its famous Turkish neighborhood. “What matters is we are in Germany and I am afraid to express my opinion because the state and police would not protect me from them,” he pointed out.
Some PKK-affiliated groups along with hard left German unions will protest Erdogan’s visit on Saturday when he arrives in the city. But the protestors are expected to be overwhelmed by Erdogan’s supporters whom will take a trip from as far away as Paris and Vienna to attend the official opening of the mosque. And all the supporters of the Turkish president believes granting permission for the meeting was an extremely positive step from the German government which would further compliment the improving relations the between former allies.