Pro-Erdogan Rally

A Great Leap Backwards

Anhänger des türkischen Staatspräsidenten Erdogan warten am 31.07.2016 in Köln (Nordrhein-Westfalen) auf den Beginn der Kundgebung. Mehrere Tausend Deutschtürken werden zu einer Pro-Erdogan-Demonstration in Köln erwartet. Foto: Henning Kaiser/dpa +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++
Pro-Erdogan protestors in Cologne on Sunday.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    By demanding the death penalty, the pro-Erdogan protestors in Cologne have set back the integration of ethnic Turks in German society by decades, the author says.

  • Facts


    • Sunday’s demonstration was staged to protest the recent coup attempt in Turkey.
    • More than 9,000 soldiers tried to overthrow the Turkish government on July 15, but large crowds of civilians thwarted the attempt.
    • Around 3 million ethnic Turks live in Germany.
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The Turkish sentence “Idam isteriz!” isn’t just short and catchy. The alliteration also lends itself to chanting at a major event like the one in Cologne last Sunday. The phrase, which is translated as “We want the death penalty,” was chanted by a few hundred, or perhaps even a few thousand ethnic Turks at the demonstration.

It is doubtful whether these people realized how much damage they did with those words. It is clear, however, how much damage the organizers have done. They have set back the integration of more than 3 million ethnic Turks in Germany by years.

The trigger for the demonstration was the attempted coup in Turkey over two weeks ago. More than 250 people died when about 9,000 soldiers attempted to overthrow the government on the night of July 15. The coup was thwarted when hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets within a few hours and blocked the tanks.

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