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.