Katja Kipping, Chairperson of Die Linke, slammed the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) criticisms of Turkey, citing the extent of Germany's arms sales to the Erdogan government that make their critiques "awkwardly fake," during a press conference in Berlin, Monday.

SOT, Gregor Gysi, Die Linke MP and President of the Party of the European Left (German): “The AfD has not even entered the Bundestag yet but, however, is in every talk show. Many have played their part in enhancing their impact. Maybe we should negate them more. Sometimes that helps. But the most important thing is something else. What can you do to decrease the interest in voting for AfD? There are three things. Firstly we need to tackle the reasons of fleeing as quick and effective as possible. Secondly, we need a social impulse in Germany. We owe our relatively good employment statistics to millions who are precariously employed and the fact that we have the biggest low-wage sector in Europe. And thirdly, politics has to get closer to the people. Now it is too far apart. And all of them, they don’t understand what happened in the US and France. I have to say this. The US has elected Trump because they did not want to vote for the existing political establishment in the form of Hilary Clinton. And the Socialists and Conservatives in France, who led the political arena in France for decades, did not even make it to the finals, the final ballot. And we don’t even waste a thought on it. We keep going as if nothing happened. But if you pay attention to history, you know that everything happening in the US will happen in Germany two years later. That’s why we need to open up, start speaking another language and much more.”

SOT, Gregor Gysi, Die Linke MP and President of the Party of the European Left (German): “In Germany this is done as follows: the chancellor goes to a gala reception with artists and does a few photos, and that’s it. This is not possible anymore. This time has passed. If we don’t open up now, and stay something like a caste of our own, we will pay for that. And I don’t know who will be elected then. I am a little afraid of that to be honest.”

SOT, Katja Kipping, Chairperson of Die Linke (German): “The most effective signal would be to terminate military collaboration [with Turkey] and put an immediate end to all weapons exports to Turkey. To this date 25 million [Euro] went there already this year. Considering that, the SPD’s harsh critique sounds awkwardly fake. For it’s in the finance ministry’s hands to halt all weapons exports immediately."

SOT, Gregor Gysi, Die Linke MP and President of the Party of the European Left (German): “Many years ago I was told that Russia is too undemocratic to be a part of NATO, or not democratic enough. My question to the federal government is how undemocratic has Turkey to become before being kicked? What is happening? Does the Russia argument still apply or does it not when it comes to Turkey? And furthermore, you know that Turkey is fighting against the Kurds who are fighting the Islamic State in Syria. And if we ship weapons to Turkey, this means that we support their fight against the Kurds in Syria. This must be stopped immediately.”

SOT, Gregor Gysi, Die Linke MP and President of the Party of the European Left (German): “Humanity has been interleaved with world economics. And no-one has yet understood that the social issue is now an issue of humanity as a whole. They haven’t understood, even those who organised it haven’t. And the second point is that the ecological issue is added and we are facing a degeneration in the form of Trump who wants to get out of the Paris climate agreement, while we see another tendency in China. I can tell you why. I was in Beijing and the air [quality] does not spare members of the establishment. This means that we are in an uncertain position once again, just like regarding the social issue. If we see these issues as one entity, we could be more effective, both in Germany and in Europe.”

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