TurkeyNovember 7 2022, 14:36 pm

Donations from Ditib Mosques End up in Account of Turkish Consulate General

Ger­man media is report­ing that sev­er­al Ger­man mosques belong­ing to the Turk­ish mosque umbrel­la orga­ni­za­tion DITIB have trans­ferred dona­tions from believ­ers to an account of the Turk­ish con­sul gen­er­al in Ham­burg. Accord­ing to the Ger­man broad­cast­er NDR:

Octo­ber 26, 2022 Panora­ma 3 has a mes­sage from an inter­nal chat addressed to the boards of all DITIB mosque con­gre­ga­tions in Ham­burg and Schleswig-Hol­stein. It says: “A col­lec­tion will be made after Fri­day prayers for the costs of the Ham­burg attaché’s edu­ca­tion expens­es, and it is request­ed that the amount col­lect­ed be trans­ferred to the fol­low­ing account by 5 p.m. on Fri­day.” And then an account num­ber of the Con­sulate Gen­er­al of the Repub­lic of Turkey in Ham­burg is giv­en. (…) Osman Dikec has been in office as reli­gious attaché at the Turk­ish Con­sulate Gen­er­al in Ham­burg since mid-2021. With him, Turkey’s influ­ence on DITIB North is said to have grown. Only at the end of May, Dikec was on a four-day meet­ing in Ankara, a pho­to shows him togeth­er with the Turk­ish head of state Recep Tayyip Erdo­gan. One of his first offi­cial acts in Ham­burg was to ini­ti­ate that the reg­u­lar fundrais­ing in the mosque con­gre­ga­tions from now on also col­lect­ed for the needs of the attaché, alleged­ly to cov­er his edu­ca­tion­al expens­es. The min­utes of the meet­ing, which were attend­ed by the boards of the mosque asso­ci­a­tions and signed by Osman Dikec, are avail­able to Panora­ma 3. There, a dona­tion cam­paign in Octo­ber 2021 “in favor of the attaché” was decid­ed. And not only that, the min­i­mum dona­tion amount is also spec­i­fied: “The col­lect­ed dona­tion amount will be increased by the clubs over the amounts below 500 euros per club, and the amounts above 500 euros will be trans­ferred to the bank account of our attaché with­out deduc­tions.” The total dona­tion amount has thus prob­a­bly amount­ed to at least 18,000 euros with 36 munic­i­pal­i­ties. Because the announce­ment to the gen­er­al­ly rather tight munic­i­pal­i­ties was clear: Who would not increase to 500 euros from the asso­ci­a­tion’s assets, the “course teach­ers” would be can­celled. Insid­ers claim that Dikec even threat­ened the com­mu­ni­ties to with­draw the imam if too lit­tle mon­ey was trans­ferred. (Trans­lat­ed from Ger­man using DeepL]

Read the rest here.

DITIB, also known as the Turk­ish-Islam­ic Union for Reli­gious Affairs (Turk­ish: Diyanet İşl­eri Türk-İsl­am Bir­liği), 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 their salaries are paid by the Diyanet or the local Turk­ish con­sulate. DITIB has a role in edu­ca­tion about Islam in Ger­many, as evi­denced by the coop­er­a­tion between DITIB and state schools. DITIB rep­re­sen­ta­tives hold seats on the advi­so­ry boards of Islam­ic the­ol­o­gy pro­grams at Ger­man uni­ver­si­ties. 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. Sim­i­lar­ly, France has closed the Diyanet’s bank accounts in France, and French Pres­i­dent Macron announced he was end­ing a pro­gram that allowed oth­er coun­tries to send cul­tur­al and lan­guage teach­ers, includ­ing imams, to teach in France with­out inter­fer­ence from French authorities.



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