Turkey is preparing an application to German courts to get involved in the judicial process being launched against far-right extremist suspects accused of killing of eight Turkish citizens between 2000 and 2004 described as the “döner kebab killings.”
“The Vienna Convention gives this right to us. When it comes to protecting the interests of a Turkish citizen, we have the right to get involved in such a judicial process. We are still investigating it,” a senior Turkish diplomat told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday. “Apart from this, we will also give legal assistance to our citizens who lost their relatives in these killings.” German security forces recently revealed that a neo-Nazi cell calling itself the National Socialist Underground is suspected of committing a string of racist murders, including those of eight Turks. The crimes have caused soul-searching across the country, which is concerned about tarnishing its image in the eyes of the international community.
Turks concerned on neo-Nazi cell
Germany is home to nearly 3 million Turks with 700,000 of them holding German citizenship. The revelation of the Neo-Nazi cell fueled concerns among the Turkish community, which has suffered from similar extreme-right attacks in the past. “We are following the developments very closely and are in close contact with the German officials,” the diplomat said. Germany was in the same position when German citizen Tilman Ekkehart Geske was killed along with two Turkish missionaries at the Zirve Publishing House, a Christian publisher, in Malatya in 2007, the diplomat added.
Turkish Ambassador to Berlin Ahmet Acet met with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle upon the minister’s invitation and the two visited a Turkish association to ease the concerns of the Turkish community. Acet has also demanded a meeting with Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich. He is also expected to raise the issue of unresolved murders of Turks since late 1990s and demand these cases be re-opened. The German government’s approach to this issue has been so far satisfactory.