International fascism - international solidarity against fascism and authoritarianism.
Especially in Germany. Especially in east Germany fascists and other nazis are an integral part of society. Whether racists in the workplace, AfD in parliament or in the police force and military. They are omnipresent in everyday life. Many have a clear picture in mind. Nazis are seemingly clearly defined and immediately recognizable to everyone. Mostly male, tall, wearing bomber jackets, combat boots, bald head and white European. Even in 2021, most German media continue reproducing this image of neo-Nazis. A cliché of the 90s, which was already wrong back then. It prevents fascists at the heart of our society from being identified and enables them to appear in public without attracting unwanted attention. Many people do not attribute the same level of threat to nazis in suits with briefcases, often in parliaments. When this happens and we are faced with fascist movements which originate in other nations, our entire worldview unravels.
We want to ask how it is possible that one of the largest fascist movements in Germany could act unhindered until now and managed to become part of established parties to further spread their ideology.
We are talking about the Grey Wolves. They originated in Turkey in the 1960s. Today they have about 20,000 members in the FRG, distributed across different organizations and associations.
There is a lot about the Grey Wolves that seems strangely familiar to us. Nazi salute? They call it the wolf salute. In their case, the index and little finger are extended and the thumb is placed over the bent middle and ring finger. Their leader used to be Alparslan Türkeş and he remains influential today, beyond the grave. Their dream: a far-reaching empire and ethnic purity. Grey Wolves and German Nazis are united in their völkisch ideology, their cult of personality and their willingness to use violence if necessary.
The foundation for the organization and consolidation of the Grey Wolves in this country was laid in 1978, when Franz Josef Strauß, then chairman of the CSU, together with Hans-Eckhardt Kannapin, a Schwalbach CDU city councilor and BND expert on Turkey, met with the founder of the Turkish ultranationalist MHP, the so called Party of the Nationalist Movement, in Germany. Türkeş himself, who can be considered the founder of the Gray Wolves and makes no secret of his admiration for German National Socialism. The meeting resulted in support for the founding and establishment of the Türk Federasyon (ADÜTDF), the foreign branch of the MHP in Frankfurt am Main, which has been followed by several umbrella organizations and hundreds of further associations throughout Germany. Associations and cultural centers form only the basis from which the Grey Wolves influence society and, above all, politics. Especially since 1995, when Alparslan Türkeş, who is revered as their "leader," called on the Grey Wolves in Germany to actively participate in CDU and CSU politics, the ideology of the Grey Wolves has been systematically linked to German party politics.
Today, this strategy is especially successfully implemented at the municipal level and there are, as in Duisburg, elected city councilors who pose for pictures with members of the Grey Wolves. It is from these structures, which reach into the largest German parties, that the Grey Wolves attack their political opponents. In doing so, they do not shy away from murder, like last year when Ibrahim Demir was murdered by a member of the Grey Wolves in Dortmund. But as with all nazis, the attacks go far beyond what is covered by the penal code. The Grey Wolves create a climate of fear through their aggressive and sometimes militant behavior, not only at demonstrations but also in everyday life, which they use to intimidate their supposed enemies and exclude dissidents from society. And as with all Nazis, the state looks the other way and plays down the problem. One does not want to betray party friends. A real confrontation remains the task of an autonomous anti-fascism.
In order to understand the actions of Turkish fascists in Germany, we have to deal with fascism in Turkey. Here we come across the already mentioned Alparslan Türkeş, who at this point had been imprisoned several times during the Second World War for his openly expressed sympathy for National Socialism. In 1969, he founded his own party, the National Movement Party, or MHP. In its environment, several youth organizations were formed, which, organized in SS and SA style, formed the paramilitary arm of the party from which the "idealists", as the Grey Wolves in Turkey call themselves, emerged. More than 5000 people fell victim to the war of this private army, which lasted until 1980. The racist motive of Turkish superiority over ethnic minorities, to which Kurds, Alevites, and Armenians in particular fell victim, is particularly prominent here.
Under the autocrat and fascist Erdogan, whose democratic shell is increasingly crumbling, the MHP and with it Turkish fascism is gaining new strength. The Islamist AKP has been in a popular alliance with the MHP since 2018. As a result, Erdogan is increasingly becoming the new leader of the Grey Wolves, to whom they swear allegiance throughout Europe. From the union of the two parties a new nationalist-fascist ideology has emerged. A pan-Turkish ideology, which is directed against all groups not defined as so-called Turkish in origin or people who reject this worldview. Thus, it strongly resembles German national socialism. In addition, a vision of a great empire including all so-called Turkic peoples living in accordance to strict Islamic rules exists within pan-Turkism. Considering this vision, it is not surprising that Grey Wolves, including ones from Germany, have joined the so-called Islamic State since 2013. Unsurprisingly the Turkish state, in violation of international law, also recruited former jihadists who previously fought for ISIS for its attacks on Efrîn and Rojava.
To this day, Turkey receives financial and military support from the EU and Germany. During the attack on Efrîn, German soldiers in German reconnaissance planes provided intelligence on Kurdish positions of the YPG/JPG and thus helped the fascist forces to a stage success. And this despite the fact that the attack on Efrîn and later Rojava were illegal under international law. Criticisms of Erdogan's actions remain superficial and sanctions ineffectual. The influence of the Gray Wolves on German politics and society plays a not insignificant role in this. How far-reaching the consequences of the actions of fascists in Germany can be on world events is nowhere as obvious as in the Turkish effort in Rojava to commit genocide against the Kurds! The banning of the Grey Wolves in France has led to a debate in German party politics. But a ban alone will not be enough, because the inhuman ideology of the gray wolves, like that of other fascists, is deeply rooted in the heart of society. A consisted anti-fascism that directs itself against nazis by all means is necessary. Whether they wear combat boots, suits or carry foreign flags. For an anti-fascism that is international!
Long live international solidarity! Solidarity with the Kurdish women's liberation struggle Solidarity with Rojava!