• Germany's news in English
 

Opposition demand vote on missiles for Turkey

The Local · 19 Nov 2012, 11:48

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
The photojournalist making news intimate
World Press Photo winner Mads Nissen. Photo: DPA

The photojournalist making news intimate

9 hours ago

Photographer Mads Nissen’s World Press Photo of the Year is currently touring Germany and the world. It’s a provocative image of two Russian gay men and one that some say is changing the definition of photojournalism.

Six athletics world champs head to Berlin
ISTAF is held annually in Berlin. File Photo: DPA

Six athletics world champs head to Berlin

9 hours ago

six world champions, freshly crowned from Beijing, will be gracing Berlin's Olympic Stadium on Sunday in the annual ISTAF track-and-field meet.

A week after heatwave, snow falls in Bavaria
Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain. File Photo: DPA

A week after heatwave, snow falls in Bavaria

9 hours ago

From 30C to snow in under a week? It's possible in Germany where seven centimetres of the white stuff fell at the top of the Bavarian Alps on Friday.

Oktoberfest and the Refugee Crisis
Munich plans to keep revellers, refugees apart
Police and refugees at Munich Central Station. Photo: DPA

Munich plans to keep revellers, refugees apart

9 hours ago

Police in Munich are preparing a significant operation to ensure that drunken revelers at Oktoberfest are kept away from refugees arriving at the city's central station from Budapest.

Criminal had time for pit stop in 20-cop-car chase
Photo: DPA

Criminal had time for pit stop in 20-cop-car chase

13 hours ago

With 21 police cars and a helicopter hot on his heels, it seemed unlikely that police in Düsseldorf would fail to catch one rogue motorist. But after a two-hour pursuit, that's exactly what happened in the early hours of Friday.

What's keeping Germans awake at night in 2015?
The Greek debt crisis has been haunting German dreams. Source: Wikipedia

What's keeping Germans awake at night in 2015?

1 day ago

Having to cough up for the excesses of spendthrift southern Europeans is the fear most likely to haunt German nightmares in 2015. But getting caught up in a natural disaster isn't far behind, an annual survey shows.

This Week in History
The death of a great humanitarian
Schweitzer spent most of his later years at Lambaréné. Photo: DPA

The death of a great humanitarian

1 day ago

On September 4th 1965, the world lost one of its most dedicated and tireless humanitarians, as Albert Schweitzer died in the African hospital he had created and cherished for over 50 years. A hospital that continues to save lives today.

Refugee crisis
Pro-refugee group push punk classic to no. 1
Die Ärzte singer and drummer Bela B. with a DVD titled "not interested in Nazis" in 2009. Photo: DPA

Pro-refugee group push punk classic to no. 1

14 hours ago

Under the banner of "Arsehole Action", activists campaigning against xenophobia and hatred of refugees have pushed a 1993 hit by punk band Die Ärzte mocking the far right to the top of Germany's charts.

Refugee Crisis
Orban: Muslims threaten European identity
Viktor Orban, guardian of Europe? Photo: DPA

Orban: Muslims threaten European identity

16 hours ago

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban warned Thursday that the wave of mostly Muslim refugees coming to Europe threatens to undermine the continent's Christian roots - an idea rejected by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Football fan given 18 months for lighting flare
Football fans set of a flare. File Photo: DPA

Football fan given 18 months for lighting flare

16 hours ago

Germany is continuing its zero tolerance approach to football supporters lighting flares in Bundesliga grounds after a Schalke supporter was jailed for 18 months on Thursday with no parole.

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS

Features
'Berlin is kind of like the best American city'
Features
How Brits in Germany are facing Brexit fears
Sport
German named 'arse bombing' world champ
Travel
Retiree finds parked car after three-week search
National
Ten ways Germany puts Britain to shame
Business & Money
German gadget clamps down on Nutella thieves
Society
Is Germany now a nation of couch potatoes?
National
Half of Germans 'have had sex in their car'
Society
Deadly stew spooks home vegetable gardeners
Politics
The man who brought two Germanies together
Features
Where to get your culture fix in Cologne
Education
Fairytale world of Brothers Grimm brought to life
Rhineland
Thieves leave 1,000 open beers untasted
National
Way to some Germans' hearts is through their wallets
National
Germany's biggest challenge: European refugee crisis
Travel
Where to get your adrenaline pumping in Germany
Technology
Could thieves hack into luxury cars?
What to watch out for when snapping your lunch
National
German lefties through history
National
The fight over prostitution heats up
National
Merkel: migrants, not Greece, are the real challenge
Features
How I explained the Queen to the Germans
Education
Why Germany does 'back-to-school' traditions better
National
Germans are ‘not how foreigners think’
National
A mum and daughter reunite 70 years after WWII
Sport
Bra stops bullet in hunting mishap miracle
National
Cows trample German woman to death in Graubünden Alps
Business & Money
Start-up helps new Berliners short cut bureaucracy
National
The 1,000s of Germans massacred after the Second World War
Sport
Germany star scores own goal with PR gaffe
Features
'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?
Politics
Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
National
13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Culture
Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu
Rhineland
Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
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

6,913
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd