The Union of European Turkish Democrats (UETD) was founded in Germany in 2004. It is essentially a lobby group for the Turkish Government and for the governing AKP party. It operates not only in Germany, but also in France, Belgium, Austria, Netherlands and the UK where it works to promote the political aims of Erdogan’s government and convince Turks living in these countries to support them.
Following Erdogan’s undemocratic, autocratic and erratic behaviour in recent years the activities of UETD are now of significant interest. It must be a particularly challenging job for the UETD and its supporters to convince Turks living in Europe to support Erdogan’s behaviours and aims. This includes the jailing of journalists, curbs on press freedoms, the sacking of judges and the silencing of political opponents. For example, in recent days the Zaman (Turkey’s most widely circulated newspaper) was taken over by Erdogan’s government and its editor in chief was sacked. The new trustee of Zaman appointed by AKP is no other than Metin Ilhan – the former General Secretary of UETD!
UETD’s current British directors are: Mehmet Macit, Yusuf Kilnic and Muttalip Unluer. News reaches us that the British branch has been propagating its messages in rather unusual ways and in a manner which potentially goes against British values.
We will be investigating and blogging about these activities in the coming weeks. Watch this space!