Why is morality more important than money

Comment: Human rights: Germany is more important to money than morality

The situation is appalling. According to the Foreign Office, 49 German nationals are sitting in Turkish prisons. Not all of these people have stolen or cheated. After the attempted coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in mid-2016, 35 Germans were arrested on charges of political criminal charges. Five of them are still in Turkish custody.

Little is known about the fate of the detainees, also because free reporting is difficult in Turkey. "This is mainly due to the constitutional and basic legal framework of press freedom in Turkey, the lack of independence of the media in some cases and finally to the particularly detrimental repression of journalists in Turkey for press freedom", states the Federal Agency for Civic Education.

Human rights in Turkey: words are not followed by deeds

The lack of freedom of the press is one reason why Turkey is not yet a member of the EU, even though it has been working on it for so long. The Eurasian country has been trying to join for well over 30 years. Only around half of the so-called accession chapters have been opened and problematic areas such as fundamental rights as well as justice, freedom and security have not even been touched.

The federal government admonishes violations of fundamental rights, but does not allow words to be followed up with deeds. She even puts up with a lot, as the example of the Ditib mosque association shows. The Erdogan-related association has drawn displeasure from German politicians and authorities for years. But Berlin cannot bring itself to measures such as surveillance by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution.

The German government's cuddle course no longer has anything to do with diplomacy. It's about completely different things, especially refugees and money. Turkey is still preventing millions of Syrian refugees from making their way to Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel depends on it, because she stands by her promise that a refugee influx like 2015 will not be repeated. Should this happen, the CDU politician could cost the job.

In addition, Turkey is to be kept as an economic partner. The country is a door opener for many Asian markets, an important advocate for German investments. It was not for nothing that the two sides founded a joint economic and trade commission in October. Despite the ongoing violations of fundamental rights in Turkey, it should do nothing less than put trade and economic policy on a new footing.

Turkey is an interesting business partner for Germany

Germany and Turkey are, which is little known, also partners in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Berlin doesn't like to talk about the AIIB, in which it has a stake of around 100 billion US dollars.

The bottom line is that money is more important than morality in German-Turkish relations. This is embarrassing for Germany, which this year brings the times of oppression and lack of freedom to bear on many round commemorative days, for example for the foundation of the Federal Republic.

Perhaps 2019 will be the year in which Turkey will get a really noticeable political blow. EPP top candidate Manfred Weber wants to end the EU accession talks with Turkey if he should become Commission President. In the long term, it would be the only measure that could induce Erdogan and Turkey to give in.