“It looks like Erdogan’s tactic of defaming his opponents will ultimately bear fruit and he will win the election,” SPD MP Macit Karaahmetoglu told the editorial network Germany (RND/Saturday). Karaahmetoglu is at the same time President of the German-Turkish Society. The CDU MP Serap Güler also told the RND: “I assume that Erdogan will win the runoff.”
Both Karaahmetoglu and Güler see no alternative to cooperation with Turkey if Erdogan is re-elected. “One would first have to look at whether Erdogan – like after every election he has won – becomes even more radical and autocratic in his actions,” said Karaahmetoglu. “Should this be the case, Turkish-German and Turkish-European relations would certainly not improve.” Even under Erdogan, Germany will not be able to ignore or isolate Turkey as an important geostrategic player in the region. “Germany will continue to have to come to terms with the country’s leadership – no matter how difficult their actions may be.”
Güler said: “We must not alienate Turkey. Not even with Erdogan.” The relationship between the two countries would not get any easier if he were re-elected. “But it is important for economic and security reasons, as well as because many people of Turkish origin live here. What we need is a strategy for moving Turkey back closer to the West. And just as important: what strategy do we have for Turkey after Erdogan? We talk far too little about that.” According to the Turkish constitution, this is the last time Erdogan can run for a five-year term as president.