Turkish Parliament closely following neo-Nazi murders in Germany

Turkish Parliament closely following neo-Nazi murders in Germany
# 12 November 2012 18:33 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Sebastian Edathy, Chairman of the German parliamentary commission established to investigate the recent neo-Nazi murders in Germany, arrived in Ankara on Monday to report on the investigation's progress to members of the Turkish Parliament's Human Rights Investigation Commission, but there are still misgivings in Turkey that it is being conducted properly, APA reports quoting Today's Zaman.

Noting that there are indications that some members of the police force and of German intelligence failed to do their jobs to prevent murders, “Germany should take the necessary measures so that such incidents do not happen again,” Nevzat Pakdil, a member of the Turkish Parliament's Human Rights Investigation Commission, has said. According to Pakdil, Germany should stop discrimination against Turks, which fosters racist feelings against foreigners.

Eight Turkish citizens and one Greek citizen were killed in Germany in murders that came to be known as the “döner murders,” which remained unsolved until last year when a terrorist neo-Nazi ring was accidentally discovered to be behind the killings. The case was a scandal in Germany because the investigation also revealed links between Germany's federal intelligence service and the neo-Nazi gang.

German Federal Interior Minister Hans Peter Friedrich, speaking on the German TV program “Günther Jauch” recently, said the federal prosecutor's office plans to file complaints against numerous people who have been found to have links to murders committed by neo-Nazi groups, adding that he believes justice will be served when all parties to the murders are made to take responsibility for their roles.

Edathy is believed to be making sincere efforts to get this issue resolved and to help Germany overcome the problem of neo-Nazi gangs. He will also discuss how Turkey and Germany can cooperate to combat racist attacks against Turkish citizens in Germany on Tuesday with Turkish deputies in Parliament. Turkish parliamentarians may also pay a visit to Germany next year in order to follow up on the investigation and neo-Nazi murder trial. “This would send the message that the Turkish Parliament is following the issue closely,” said Tunca Toskay, who was among a group of Turkish members of parliament who visited German authorities in May this year about the killings.

The German government recently paid about 900,000 euros to the families of 10 people, including eight Turks, killed in Germany between 2000 and 2007 by neo-Nazi extremists. Compensation alone, however, does not make it possible for the victims' families to move forward with their lives.

“We would like to consider the German compensation as just an initial step. The people should be given a hand to reestablish their lives as before,” Pakdil told Today's Zaman.

Some of the murdered Turks ran small businesses to earn their living, and with their deaths, the families have suffered severe trauma and disruption. Noting that the compensation is fairly insignificant, “Germany should be able to provide those people with the means for them to reestablish their lives,” commented Pakdil, who is one of the Turkish deputies to meet with Edathy. For Toskay, the compensation is a confession by the German state that it failed to do its job properly.

The activities of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Underground (NSU) only came to light last November when two suspected founders, Uwe Boehnhardt and Uwe Mundlos, were found dead following an apparent murder-suicide as police closed in on them after a bank robbery. A third alleged core member, Beate Zschaepe, turned herself in. The string of killings of small businessmen, including a florist, a tailor and fast-food stall owners, went unsolved for years, with authorities suspecting organized crime rather than politically motivated violence to be the motive.

Germany is also investigating failures in the security and intelligence forces in a separate inquiry set up by the Interior Ministry. Both probes are looking into the NSU's murders. But racism is not limited to Thüringen.

A book published in 2010, “Germany Abolishes Itself,” and written by Thilo Sarrazin, a former central banker who argued that Turkish and Arab immigrants sponged off the state and threatened Germany's culture, became a best-seller. The book is laden with insults and stereotypes of Muslims and Sarrazin's claim that Germany's Muslim community was “intellectually inferior” created outrage in Germany, but close to 90 percent of Germans admitted that they found the book convincing, and 20 percent indicated they would vote for Sarrazin if he founded a political party.