• Germany's news in English
 

Opposition demand vote on missiles for Turkey

Published: 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)

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
Wolf spotted in North Rhine-Westphalia
File photo: DPA

Wolf spotted in North Rhine-Westphalia

Camera traps have spotted a wolf for the second time in a month in North Rhine-Westphalia, the state environment ministry reported on Friday. READ  

German ranchers murdered in Paraguay
Paraguayan police on patrol in an area known to contain EPP rebels. File photo: DPA

German ranchers murdered in Paraguay

The Foreign Ministry in Berlin confirmed that two Germans living in Paraguay were kidnapped and killed earlier this week. READ  

AfD braces for busy conference weekend
"Vote AfD!" reads the flyover message. Photo: DPA

AfD braces for busy conference weekend

As leaders of the Germany's anti-Euro upstart party Alternative for Germany (AfD) prepare for its party conference this weekend, the potential for chaos is rising. READ  

Sudden dose of winter causes traffic chaos
Snow in Oberharz. Photo: DPA

Sudden dose of winter causes traffic chaos

UPDATE: Two people were rescued from avalanches as a blast of winter has taken Germany by surprise, while snow and ice accounted for several traffic accidents across the country on Friday. READ  

BND collects 220 million phone records a day
Photo: DPA

BND collects 220 million phone records a day

Germany's foreign intelligence agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) collects 220 million pieces of information about foreign phone calls and SMS every day, Zeit Online reported on Friday. READ  

U-turn on minimum wage for foreign drivers
Photo: DPA

U-turn on minimum wage for foreign drivers

Germany temporarily hit the brakes Friday on applying its new minimum wage to foreign truck drivers transiting the country in a move welcomed by Poland, which vigorously opposed the system. READ  

Crises make Germany EU foreign policy leader
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo: DPA

Crises make Germany EU foreign policy leader

Foreign policy think-tank the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) gave Germany top marks in its annual check-up of EU member states released on Thursday. READ  

Prost! Beer sales hop up for first gain in 8 years
Photo: DPA

Prost! Beer sales hop up for first gain in 8 years

New figures released Friday by federal statistics office Destatis are numbers breweries can drink to, as German beer consumption saw its first year-on-year rise since 2006. READ  

Germany has thousands of uni spots open
Photo: DPA

Germany has thousands of uni spots open

New research published by Spiegel on Friday shows that there are thousands of university placesa unoccupied across the country, while certain hot spots cope with too much demand. READ  

Borussia coach admits to 'downward spiral'
Borussia Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp at a press conference. Photo: DPA

Borussia coach admits to 'downward spiral'

Borussia Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp admits feeling the pressure as his side resume their fight to stay in Germany's top flight on Saturday at fellow Champions League side Bayer Leverkusen. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Business & Money
FATCA: 'The age of financial privacy is over'
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
The rise and spread of Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Photo: DPA
Politics
The Local's report from Pegida's largest ever demonstration.
Sponsored Article
Top-notch tech boosts bilingual schools
National
Six stories that will rock Germany this year
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Dresden skyline and river by night. Photo: DPA
Politics
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
Photo: DPA
National
What were your favourite news stories of 2014?
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
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

3,971
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd