We are all Hitler


I never quite understood the promiscuous political enthusiasm of so many dual citizens in Australia and elsewhere. Politics in one country is usually dreadful enough; why would you choose to be actively interested and involved in two? I’ve never voted in Polish elections – when I was growing up, even if I were of age, we didn’t have any real ones, and in my nearly three decades in Australia I always thought that I shouldn’t have a say in who governs Poland if I’m not there to suffer the consequences of my choice. Or maybe I was just too lazy to renew my Polish passport. Either way, it has been one person, one vote, one country for me.

But many people and many overseas diasporas disagree, including many Turks throughout Europe.

A few days ago I noted in the context of the German government banning pro-Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan rallies that “a leader inspired by Hitler who wants to introduce Hitleresque constitutional changes thinks that not allowing him to have public rallies in favour of this is fascist.”

Since then, the Dutch government also decided they too have problems with Turkish politicians and diplomats actively whipping up pro-Erdogan sentiment in the Netherlands, and regular as a clockwork Erdogan has called the Dutch a “Nazi remnant”. Ironically, of course, Turkey was allied with Germany in World War One, and while ostensibly neutral in the sequel, it was objectively pro-Axis. Since then, Europe has moved on, but Turkey seemingly hasn’t. Thought it is now contemplating realignment in favour of the other half of the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact. As the Turkish foreign minister barred from entering the Netherlands has said: “The Netherlands should stop this faulty understanding and approach… If they think Turkey will take whatever they do, that Turkey is gone. I told them this, stop this boss-like attitude. If Europe keeps this up, they will lose many places, including Russia and us.”

In today’s politics, when Hitler is invoked more than just about any other historical figure, President Erdogan is doing well above average in name calling. Churchill might not have ever said that “the fascists of the future will be the anti-fascists”, but it certainly seems to be the case, from the black-clad antifa of Berkeley, to the Islamists of the Bosphorus.