• Germany edition
 
Opposition demand vote on missiles for Turkey
Photo: DPA

Opposition demand vote on missiles for Turkey

Published: 19 Nov 2012 11:48 GMT+01:00
Updated: 19 Nov 2012 11:48 GMT+01:00

Turkey is expected to officially ask for NATO support to defend its border with Syria, after rocket attacks associated with the Syrian civil war killed five Turkish civilians.

Hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees have crossed the border to escape the fighting, stretching Turkish facilities to the limit. And last week NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the alliance was prepared to assist Turkey in case the Syrian conflict encroached on its borders.

A report at the weekend suggested that Germany was prepared to contribute 170 troops along with two batteries of Patriot air defence missiles, as part of a NATO support force.

German Defence Minister Thomas de Maizière said on Monday he was expecting the request before the end of the day, and would be minded to agree.

Germany, he said, had been "the main benefactor of the alliance's solidarity." He added that if, "now, an alliance partner asks us for such a thing, it is clear to us that we would regard that openly and with solidarity."

But Social Democratic (SPD) parliamentary party leader Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Monday that he would demand a parliamentary vote for any deployment. The Green Party said it would want to see a United Nations mandate before any troops were sent there.

Thomas Oppermann, the SPD parliamentary party manager said it was not clear that Turkey's borders were actually under threat, which would activate NATO mutual defence promises.

"I do not see that yet," he told public broadcaster ARD's Morgenmagazin news show on Monday. He also warned of what he called a "hooray mentality", and said that international legal security such as a UN mandate might also be necessary. "This is about an act of war," he said.

Green security expert Omid Nouripour told the Leipziger Volkszeitung newspaper he wanted to see parliament take as many measures as possible to prevent Germany sliding into an illegal war in Syria.

He said that having refused to help in the Libyan conflict, Germany did not have the international credit left to refuse to take part in the Turkey-Syrian crisis. And he said the Patriot missiles might well be poorly suited to the border, saying that Syrian attacks had largely been with mortars, against which the missiles would not work.

He said the Patriots were offensive rather than defensive weapons, and would in the worst case, "very quickly make Germany party to war."

The Local/DAPD/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

18:14 November 19, 2012 by sonriete
I think a very good way to dispel the appearance of Germany taking sides in the Syrian civil war would be for both German troops and Russian troops to take up positions side by side on the Turkish border.

Since they are supporting opposite sides within Syria it would then would be clear the troop movements would be purely in defense of Turkish sovreignity and in no way supportive of democracy or dictatorship or securlarlism or Islamization in Syria itself.

If that were the case I could not imagine any problem securing Security Council approval of such a move.

The Defense Minister misspoke when he decribed Germany as the main benefactor of NATO solidarity, I'm guessing he meant to say main beneficiary.
18:21 November 19, 2012 by raandy
Turkey is a member of NATO as is Germany, there should be no hesitation in helping Turkey with air defense to protect it's citizens.
18:55 November 19, 2012 by sonriete
of course any NATO member is entitled to solidarity from fellow members, for instance when Bin Laden attacked the Americans from Afganistan all other members rightly stepped up.

I think Turkey is a uncomfortable situation though, because of the increadibly provocative statements and actions of the Ergodan government in openly calling for the violent overthrow of the government of their neighbor, brazenly allowing the rebels to set up bases right on the Syrian border, allowing the flow of arms and all the rest.

Does anyone really think the Syrian government would be acting in any hostile way toward Turkey if all this had not preceded it?

The question becomes are the Turkish citizens exposed because of the willful actions of their government? In that case a closer look can be taken at the
19:21 November 19, 2012 by raandy
Thats all politics, there should be no doubt that humanitarian aid should be forth coming, from your ally and neighbor.
19:50 November 19, 2012 by sonriete
I agree that as much humanitarian aid as possible should be provided to the suffering Syrian people.

But hosting armed rebels on your neighbors border and facilitating the delivery of arms and allowing those rebels safe passage back and forth to fight and openly calling for your neighbors government to be violently overthrown is a lot more than politics.

In my eyes that is getting very close to outright war, NATO is a defensive alliance, not an offensive one, if you chose to support the overthrow of your neighbor, I'm not sure the principle of an attack on one is an attack on all should apply.
04:07 November 20, 2012 by marimay
The flow of arms into syria and rebel bases on the Turkish border likely wouldn't exist if it weren't for the US and other western governments insisting that it be so. That is why it is stupid that Germany is holding back on helping Turkey with some missiles.
07:39 November 20, 2012 by wenddiver
A collective response to position troops to protect the soverignty of Turkey by the NATO alliance should be more than enough stick to convince the Assad Government to keep it's ordance on it's side of the Border. The thought of US Air Power over achieving the target on all your expensive war toys has traditionally been enough to wake upall but the nastiest and craziest Dictators, which I certainly don't believe Mr. Assad is.

We should however let Mr. Erdagan know that we are coming to aid his Country and our allies the secular Turkish military and not his religously basedpolitical party.
Today's headlines
Merkel accuses Isis of genocide
A photograph (right) made available by the jihadist affiliated group Albaraka News allegedly shows an Isis fighter tying up an Iraqi soldier. Photo: EPA/ALBARAKA NEWS/HANDOUT

Merkel accuses Isis of genocide

Chancellor Angela Merkel described atrocities committed by Isis in Iraq as genocide on Wednesday, going further than other western leaders in her condemnation of the group. READ  

Ebola patient treated at Hamburg hospital
An isolation ambulance approaches the specially outfitted aircraft carrying the Ebola patient at Hamburg airport. Photo: DPA

Ebola patient treated at Hamburg hospital

UPDATE: The first patient to be treated for Ebola in Germany arrived in Hamburg on Wednesday morning. READ  

Uber pushes expansion despite legal pitfalls
Uber is going head-to-head with taxi services across Germany. Photo: DPA

Uber pushes expansion despite legal pitfalls

Chauffeur car service Uber plans to expand into more German cities and double its activity in the country by the end of the year in the face of bitter opposition and a court case. READ  

Has Germany learned lessons of NSU failures?
Police images of the Beate Zschäpe, Uwe Böhnhardt and Uwe Bundlos, the three perpetrators of the NSU murders. Photo: DPA

Has Germany learned lessons of NSU failures?

The German government announced measures on Wednesday requiring police and courts to take tougher action against suspected hate crimes, following a neo-Nazi killing spree that went unsolved for more than a decade. READ  

The Local List
Ten of the oddest things found at border control
Photo: Zollamt/Shutterstock

Ten of the oddest things found at border control

Some of the strangest items found by German border control might make you think again about whether border checks are over the top. The Local List takes a look. READ  

Germany to lock out 'cheating' EU migrants
Demonstrators hold up a banner against Roma deportations in 2013. Photo: DPA

Germany to lock out 'cheating' EU migrants

UPDATE: Germany is expected to announce new measures on Wednesday to expel EU citizens who cheat the country's social security system, as well as improving conditions for asylum seekers. READ  

Shoppers' confidence collapses at record rate
Shoppers in Germany felt a sudden drop in confidence in August. Photo: DPA

Shoppers' confidence collapses at record rate

Confidence among German consumers fell at its fastest rate in August since records began more than 30 years ago. Instability on the international stage and fears for the future of the national economy have contributed to the sudden drop. READ  

Want to avoid driving fines? Swap seats
Photo: DPA

Want to avoid driving fines? Swap seats

A driver in western Germany should not be fined for "negligent driving" because he had swapped seats after a warning sign, a court ruled on Tuesday. READ  

Police find €20 million of cannabis in woods
The cannabis was found by a walker who alerted police. Photo: DPA

Police find €20 million of cannabis in woods

Police have found 18,500 cannabis plants with a street value of €20 million growing in the woods on the Dutch-German border. READ  

Anti-stress law moves step closer in Germany
Federal Labour Minister Andrea Nahles speaking to journalists in July. Photo: DPA

Anti-stress law moves step closer in Germany

Germany’s Labour Minister Andrea Nahles has given her backing to an anti-stress law, announcing a study into workers' mental health on Tuesday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Gerkan, Marg and Partners/Tegel Projekt GmbH/J. Mayer
Berlin
How will Berlin look in five years' time?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The best of Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit in 14 pictures
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germany sends burgers and sausages to Kurds
Photo: DPA
National
Size does matter in this case, rules judge
Photo: Matthias Kock
National
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Photo: DPA
Gallery
10 things to do before summer in Germany is really over
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,453
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd