KW 29: Poland’s Duda wins 2nd term by narrow majority, The China-Hong Kong conflict, Donald Trump’s crisis management

GREETINGS

How to treat Turkey as a NATO member?

Turkish President Erdogan has already made it clear in many ways that his Turkey cannot be a candidate for EU accession. But those who still had doubts will now be shown where they’re wrong. The conversion of the Hagia Sophia, a World Heritage Site, into a mosque is a provocation directed at Western countries. It says, “Look, I don’t care about your Western values and agreements!”

One question still remains for me: How can Turkey be trusted as a NATO member? Excluding Turkey from the alliance, however, would mean the total loss of international control over Turkey’s actions.

Warm greetings from
Christian Hübenthal
– Editor Defensio Briefing –

NEWS

Poland’s Duda wins 2nd term by narrow majority: Poland’s incumbent candidate Andrzej Duda won the country’s presidential election, Poland’s National Electoral Commission said Monday, securing a second five-year term for the right-wing populist president. Duda won 51.21% of the vote, the commission said. Opposition candidate Rafal Trzaskowski received 48.79%. International monitors criticized the election: The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) said after the election’s first round that the campaign had been marked by inflammatory language by the incumbent and his campaign that was at times xenophobic and homophobic, adding: “In the run-up to the election, the public broadcaster became [his] campaign tool, while some reporting had clear xenophobic and antisemitic undertones.”
dw.com, theguardian.com

The China-Hong Kong conflict: China has opened the “National Security Protection Bureau” in Hong Kong. On the basis of China’s new security law, employees of the new Chinese police and intelligence agency now have far-reaching powers in Hong Kong. They can investigate covertly and independently of the Hong Kong police. They can eavesdrop, monitor, and enter homes. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier sharply criticized China’s new law: China isn’t just violating Hong Kong law, the country is also violating self-imposed international agreements and promises, Steinmeier said. This would mean a double violation of international law. He called on Western countries to make it clear to China that if this state of affairs is maintained, there will be lasting, negative changes to the relationship between Europe and China.
tagesschau.de, stern.de

Protests in Sofia: Thousands of people turned out in the Bulgarian capital Sofia on Monday for the fifth day running to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, voicing growing frustration with high-level corruption and the business tycoons they believe are benefiting. Public anger broke out last week after prosecutors raided the offices of President Rumen Radev, a critic of Borissov, as part of probes into two of Radev’s aides. Many saw the move as an attack on the president, who has often criticized Borissov’s government on the same grounds as the protesters and called for his resignation. The protests have shown no sign of dwindling in size and more are planned for later in the week. The opposition Socialists, who backed Radev for president, have said they will put forward a motion of no confidence in the government on Wednesday.
reuters.com

Erdogan’s Neo-Ottomanism: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has converted Istanbul’s ancient Hagia Sophia into a mosque. The Hagia Sofia has served two world religions – Christian and Muslim – for 1500 years. Now, Erdogan cleared the way to convert the museum into a mosque: Last Friday, the highest administrative court in Turkey ruled that the 1934 conversion of the building into a museum by the founder of the state of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, was unlawful. The former Byzantine church, built between AD 532 and 537, was a symbol of Christian power and domination for almost 1000 years. In 1453, as a mosque, it embodied the victory of the Muslim Ottomans over the Christians for almost 500 years. Attaturk then turned it into a museum in 1935. Erdogan is now indicating a change of direction – away from modernity, back to the 15th century. The move drew international criticism and concern, including from Greece, the United States and Russia, as well as Unesco and Pope Francis, who said he was hurt by the decision.
reuters.com, zeit.de

German defense minister wants risk analysis on Russia spiegel.de
German arms exports: 40% increase zeit.de
Biometric passport photos: Production only by the federal printing office? deutschlandfunk.de
Balkan conflict: Germany and France want to help faz.net
Taliban: Ten dead in Northern Afghanistan spiegel.de
South Caucasus: Conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia bbc.com

NUMBER OF THE WEEK

25 years ago, on July 11th, 1995, the worst war crime since World War II took place in eastern Bosnia.
tagesschau.de

BACKGROUND

Unrest in Russia: Russia’s referendum on constitutional changes showed voters overwhelmingly approved the amendments that would allow President Vladimir Putin to potentially extend his rule until 2036. The country is now being overwhelmed by a wave of repression. There are raids against Kremlin opponents and a striking number of arrests: A military court in Pskow pronounced journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva guilty of justifying terrorism on Monday, but unexpectedly let her off with a fine, ending a trial her supporters said illustrated growing censorship. Russia charged former military journalist Ivan Safronov with state treason on Monday, his lawyer said, accusations that have sent a chill through Russia’s media community which has protested over what it says is his unfair treatment. Pyotr Verzilov, a member of the activist group Pussy Riot, recovered from what he said was a poisoning attempt — signs of which were also observed by the Berlin doctors who treated him.
dw.com, reuters.com, reuters.com, dw.com

Racial Profiling and family tree research: German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has referred to racism in Germany as “shameful”. He expressly warned of groups like the “Reichsbürger” (Reich citizens). The minister believes that the extreme right-wing milieu is currently the greatest threat to security in Germany. Nevertheless, Seehofer has given the impression that the problem is not being tackled with enough commitment. While he announced a study on racial profiling in the police a month ago, it now turns out that he never planned such a study. However, there will be a general analysis of the right-wing extremism potential in public service. Meanwhile, Stuttgart police chief Frank Lutz announced that the police would conduct a “family tree search” of suspects following the Stuttgart riots in June. According to the police, this is a completely normal procedure. But Lutz’ statement expresses what has been identified as a problem in Germany’s racism and racial profiling debate of the past few weeks. The racism that shows itself can certainly be described as structural. Instead of researching the family trees of perpetrators, authorities should be discussing omissions in regulatory policies. Sociologist Harald Welzer believes that if all of the suspects in Stuttgart had been born Germans, the police would not have come up with the idea to investigate family trees.
zeit.de, dw.com

QUOTE

“The thousandfold murder committed here against Muslim boys and men is unique in its brutality and dimension for Europe after the Second World War.”
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on the commemorative ceremony for the genocide of Srebrenica.
n-tv.de

SECURE?

Donald Trump’s crisis management: Almost 3,000 people died after hurricane “Maria” in Puerto Rico in 2017. The catastrophe was one of the first big trials for Donald Trump as US President. His crisis management also showed how he acted – like a businessman. Then homeland security minister Elaine Duke remembers that Trump’s first thoughts were not about helping people, but about selling Puerto Rico. Trump also thought about the outsourcing of electricity or wealth. Trump’s ideas made it clear what he was really about: the money. A little later, he fought a battle of words with local island politicians on Twitter. In retrospect, Trump claims that his government has made no mistakes in the face of the disaster in Puerto Rico. He called it an unsung success.
spiegel.de

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