Saturday, 4 March 2017

trial balloon, probefahrt

Although allowing a foreign government to play in Peoria to its diaspora (many of whom left their homeland for fear of political reprisal) would be without precedent, the refusal of Germany and Austria to permit the regime of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to campaign at venues in those respective countries with sizable Turkish populations has garnered much angry and caused further tensions between the outlier and EU member states.
In mid-April Turkey plans to hold a referendum not on EU membership but rather on changing the country’s constitution to invest the office of the president with greater executive powers, more akin to those of the president of France or the US rather than the largely ceremonial, soft-power that Erdoğan enjoys now. With rallies in Turkish communities, the administration is hoping to persuade (or perhaps intimidate) the expatriate population to vote to strengthen the presidency—while many outside Turkish jurisdiction probably harbour the exact opposite sentiments. While in Austria the denying of a platform is coming from the government directly, the federal government of Germany, who has seen continual strained relations for some time now, insists it’s played no part and local venues are wholly cancelling engagements at their own volition without the government’s influence. As stated, it would be highly irregular to allow a foreign politician a pulpit from which to bully exiles in a power-grab—Obama passing the mantle of leadership of the free world to Merkel is something quite different, though these are quite irregular times—but perhaps this refusal is a sign that other institutions will stand up to America’s Minitrue and Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda when he and his minions try to through European elections.