Turkish diaspora in Europe rightfully believe it has been underrepresented in Turkish politics despite earning voting right in 2013. Mustafa Yeneroglu, who was brought up in Germany, broke that chain as he became the head of the Human Rights Commission in the Turkish Parliament after becoming an MP from Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Ak Party. For the first time in 60 years, there was someone in the Turkish Parliament whom truly fought to solve diaspora’s long-awaited problems. However, Yeneroglu’s AK Party career came to an end this week as he had to resign from his party.
There has been a lot of talk about what Yeneroglu’s resignation meant for Erdogan’s governing party. Many opposition papers spared columns to his departure and praised him for his struggle for human rights. However, no one has yet to ask the members of Turkish diaspora where Yeneroglu came from about much-anticipated resignation.
SOMEWHERE BETWEEN A TRAITOR AND HERO
Yeneroglu has long become a controversial figure among Turkish diaspora in Germany as the diaspora members have closely been following the political developments in Turkey. Mustafa Yeneroglu has a law degree in Germany and he was a member of Islamic Community Milli Gorus, or IGMG, a religious group with ties to Islamist Milli Gorus Movement in Turkey. So the reaction of Milli Gorus members in Germany has generally been in support of Yeneroglu whom is already referred as a “lone wolf” by some people because he is not politically close to any party in Turkey in principle now.
Iskender Gungor, a 52 years old Turkish immigrant in Germany with strong ties to IGMG, said on his Facebook post that “Turkish politics seemingly is not ready to accept a person who loves the party but also criticize it.” Gungor is referring to Yeneroglu’s heavy criticism of Ak Party policies on many controversial issues like treatment of Kurds by police or members of Gulen movement being expelled from state jobs. However, reaction of Gungor’s friends showed that substantial amount of Turkish community also think it was about time for Yeneroglu to leave the party because of his recent “support” of Gulent movement and his criticism of state’s struggle against terror groups.
Yeneroglu’s critics bring up a few issues to chastise him. The former Ak Party member hosted the wives of missing Gulenists in his Parliament office. Gulenists was behind the bloody coup attempt in Turkey back in 2016. The Turkish Parliament was bombed by Gulenists during the coup night. Some of the so-called missing husbands turned themselves in after that meeting. Yeneroglu has also criticized the Turkish police on some occasions where police had to get harsh to comprehend violent PKK-supporters during riots in the south eastern Turkey. Reaction from diaspora against Yeneroglu are mainly gathered around these issues.
One Turkish businessman who live in the Balkans also contacted Diaspora Daily and said Yeneroglu once smeared him as “FETO member” and managed to cancel his organization during Erdogan’s visit there. “He did not know me but he easily labeled me as a Gulenist,” he complained.
A prominent member of Turkish community in Germany whom spoke only on the condition of anonymity said Yeneroglu’s recent political stance could now easily earn him a position in German politics. It is an open secret in Germany that no one can enter the politics without getting harsh on Turkey.