TurkeyJanuary 27 2023, 9:08 am

DITIB Blocked from Providing Youth Welfare Services in Essen

The Ger­man city of Essen has declined to rec­og­nize a Turk­ish-Ger­man mosque orga­ni­za­tion with close ties to the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment as a pub­lic youth wel­fare orga­ni­za­tion. Accord­ing to the WAZ report:

Novem­ber 16, 2022 The attempt by the con­tro­ver­sial Islam­ic asso­ci­a­tion DITIB to be rec­og­nized as a pub­lic youth wel­fare orga­ni­za­tion in Essen has failed: the DITIB com­mu­ni­ty in Altendorf sub­mit­ted the appli­ca­tion in Decem­ber 2022 in order to be able to pro­vide ser­vices for young peo­ple in the dis­trict. After some sharp crit­i­cism, the city’s youth wel­fare com­mit­tee post­poned the mat­ter. Now the city has stopped the recog­ni­tion process: The asso­ci­a­tion had not answered ques­tions about its work and ori­en­ta­tion, explained youth depart­ment head Muchtar Al Ghu­sain. Last year, an alliance, which includ­ed Kur­dish asso­ci­a­tions as well as Pro Asyl Essen, had warned that DITIB con­gre­ga­tions had repeat­ed­ly attract­ed atten­tion with incite­ment against dis­si­dents and minori­ties: the asso­ci­a­tion is com­plete­ly unsuit­able as a ser­vice provider for youth wel­fare. There have been many rea­sons to doubt that the Islam­ic asso­ci­a­tion DITIB acts in accor­dance with the Basic Law, says the Green Coun­cil­woman San­dra Schu­mach­er. “These doubts have not been dis­pelled.” Oth­er crit­ics had also point­ed out that the Altendorf DITIB com­mu­ni­ty was con­sid­ered inde­pen­dent, but belonged to the umbrel­la orga­ni­za­tion of the Turk­ish-Islam­ic Union for Reli­gious Affairs (DITIB) in Cologne — and could be exposed to great influ­ence from Turkey as a result. “DITIB imams have been proven to have spied on peo­ple in Ger­many on behalf of the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment and report­ed them to Ankara,” empha­sized the Left Par­ty in the Coun­cil, for exam­ple, and cam­paigned for a rejec­tion of the appli­ca­tion. [Trans­lat­ed by DeepL with edits]

Read the rest here.

The Turk­ish-Islam­ic Union for Reli­gious Affairs (Turk­ish: Diyanet İşl­eri Türk-İsl­am Bir­liği; DITIB) is a mosque umbrel­la orga­ni­za­tion that oper­ates in sev­er­al Euro­pean coun­tries. The orga­ni­za­tion is linked to the Diyanet, a Turk­ish gov­ern­ment agency respon­si­ble for reli­gious affairs. The Diyanet sends imams to DITIBs mosques, and the Diyanet or the local Turk­ish con­sulate pays their salaries. DITIB plays a role in edu­ca­tion about Islam in Ger­many, as seen in the coop­er­a­tion between DITIB and state schools and the advi­so­ry board seats at Ger­man uni­ver­si­ty the­ol­o­gy pro­grams held by DITIB rep­re­sen­ta­tives. Ger­many has cut fund­ing to DITIB and sought to have imams edu­cat­ed in Ger­many to reduce the num­ber of for­eign imams and curb the Diyanet’s influence.



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