Michael Frieser: Turkey is a strategic partner

MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Germany –

Source: CDU, CSU,

Many Thanks. – Madam President! Ladies and gentlemen! Count Lambsdorff, you had already asked us to be honest about this process. We are all aware and clear that an accession process that has come to a standstill offers few starting points for sprouting something new. But the crucial question right now is this: by what do we replace it? One-sidedness does not help.

(Applause from members of the CDU / CSU)

Separating a strand that actually can help us does not take us any further. It all belongs together.

Yes, we expect a special guest. But the theatrical thunder that can be heard here, the questions in this very overheated debate are not quite fair to reality. When, if not now, is the time to pay our respects to the Turkish people in order to reach out and say "this state visit is an expression of respect for the Turkish people"? Respect is an advance that we, incidentally, demand on the other side to the same extent.

When, if not now, can one stand up for the release of the illegally detained? When, if not now, can it be argued that this state, that this President returns to the rule of law? When, if not now, do we actually fight openly for the benefit of the Turkish population in Germany, the German citizen with Turkish roots, when it comes to the commitment to freedom of expression? When, if not now, can we actually denounce these military aberrations that Turkey is taking, even before the world public? And when, if not now, you still have to come to the conclusion: "Turkey is an important partner for us"? It remains that, no matter what the wrong way the President goes in which places.

One thing is clear: Turkey is a strategic partner. NATO and the military have already been addressed. But Turkey is also an essential strategic partner when it comes to the fight against terror. That is why, I believe, it is our job to ensure that Turkey, this people, these citizens are not put in the wrong arms, by signaling openness, maintaining the thread of dialogue and respecting each other.

Even the president has noted that his world fantasies of an Islamist leadership are beginning to crumble and that the policies he has imposed on the country are currently leading to an extreme economic and monetary crisis. We can not be interested in further destabilizing Turkey. It must remain an anchor of stability in this region. For that, we can and must do everything, even sometimes overcoming our fear of talking to people we do not think are flawless Democrats. That is the task of a democratic, open society.

In this sense, the respect gesture of a state visit is to be understood. Do you seriously believe that turning down an invitation for dinner will only help a prisoner or a refugee? I do not believe that. I believe that one must actually maintain the form, so that one ends up with the right measure to the content. That's why I think it's right to hold the state banquet.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU)

The truth is in the middle, as always. The hasty commitment of financial assistance does not help us any further. Who were the ones who could not get Turkey into the EU soon enough? No, the truth is actually in the middle. We must call on the Turkish President: Please return to the rule of law and freedom! Release Politically Illegally Detained! Above all, please stop using the German citizens with Turkish roots as a plaything of your interests in Germany! These are the messages of this state banquet.

Thank you.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU)

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article is a translation. Please forgive us the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.