Germans Disturbed by the Joke of ‘Nazi Salute’
German people living in Fethiye are disturbed by some Turks who welcome them with Nazi salute. Tina Kosuch, 50 year old German psychology teacher who lives in Fethiye, said, “We think they approach us with hostile attitudes.”
Germans living in Fethiye are very disturbed by some Turks who joke about Nazi salute. According to the statistics of Fethiye Passport Office, 303 Germans live in Fethiye. This number increases with German tourists visiting Fethiye in summer. Germans usually live in Çalış District, famous for spectacular sunset view on Çalış Beach, or spend their holiday here. The German population in Fethiye may also be seen in Üzümlü, Göcek and Ovacık Districts. Germans who live in peace with Turkish people have become active members of society with their charity and aid campaigns as well. Germans come together and try to learn Turkish, however they are very disturbed by Nazi salutes that they have frequently encountered in recent months.
GERMANS WELCOMED WITH HITLER SALUTE
Some Turks welcome Germans with Nazi salute or say “Heil Hitler”, it is claimed. This Nazi salute distresses and upsets Germans living in Fethiye. Nazi salute, a gesture that was used as a greeting in Nazi Germany and World War II, is accepted as a crime in several European countries including Germany and those who use the Nazi or Hitler salute may even face a prison sentence up to 3 years.
‘WE THINK THEY APPROACH US WITH HOSTILE FEELINGS’
Psychology teacher Tina Kosuch, who has been living in Üzümlü District for 13 years, said it was normal to joke about Nazi salute in Turkey but it upset them even if it was a joke. Kosuch explained that jokes about Hitler were an insult and crime in Germany and Europe and it is a gesture used mostly by racist radical groups in Europe: “When we are faced with this Nazi salute, we think they approach us with hostile attitudes and we feel terrible. We do not want to be shown responsible for the events that had happened long before we are born. It is very important for German people. We always say we were guilty in World War II. Yet, there are very few countries in the world accepting this kind of attitudes as crimes.”
‘WE EXPECT TURKISH PEOPLE WOULD UNDERSTAND THIS FEELING’
Germans living in Fethiye tried to understand Turkish culture and respect Turkish traditions, said Kosuch and added: “We are careful about not eating outside during the Ramadan. I always fast on the first day of Ramadan. Turkish society had been offended by some French cartoons recently. We have a similar problem here. We want Turkish people to understand this feeling. We moved to Turkey to live in love, peace and understanding.”
German Christa Köhn also said she lives in Fethiye and encountered Nazi salute many times: “It upsets and annoys me. It should not even be used as a joke.”