TurkeyApril 20 2021, 12:19 pm

Erdoğan Meets With Pro-Turkish Lobbying Group Monitored by Germany

Turk­ish media is report­ing that Pres­i­dent Erdoğan has spo­ken at a meet­ing of a pro-Turk­ish lob­by­ing group mon­i­tored by Ger­man intel­li­gence. Accord­ing to the Hür­riyet Dai­ly News report:

April 11, 2021 Pres­i­dent Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has slammed the rise in cul­tur­al racism against the Turks and Mus­lims in Europe, blam­ing incom­pe­tent Euro­pean politi­cians for adding fuel to the flames in a bid to cov­er their fail­ure in inter­nal and exter­nal pol­i­tics. “The politi­cians who are unsuc­cess­ful in for­eign pol­i­cy and cor­nered in inter­nal pol­i­tics are try­ing to cov­er their incom­pe­tence by attack­ing Mus­lims and me. Islam­o­pho­bia has turned to be one of the most impor­tant tools for West­ern politi­cians to hide their fail­ure,” Erdoğan said at a meet­ing with women and youth branch­es of the Inter­na­tion­al Union of Democ­rats, a Turk­ish non­govern­men­tal orga­ni­za­tion com­posed of the Turks liv­ing abroad, most­ly in Europe, on April 12. The recent devel­op­ments in Europe and how the Euro­pean media has cov­ered them are prov­ing the rise in cul­tur­al racism in the con­ti­nent where around six mil­lion Turks are liv­ing, Erdoğan said, stress­ing that an expand­ing and strength­en­ing Turk­ish dias­po­ra has already become a night­mare of some Euro­pean politicians.

Read the rest here.

The Union of Inter­na­tion­al Democ­rats (UID), for­mer­ly known as the Union of Euro­pean Turk­ish Democ­rats (UETD), describes itself as an NGO found­ed in 2004 that oper­ates in sev­er­al Euro­pean coun­tries and which com­bats Islam­o­pho­bia as one of its pur­pos­es. Ger­man media has described the UID as a lob­by­ing group for Pres­i­dent Erdoğan and his AKP polit­i­cal par­ty. As of 2018, Ger­man domes­tic intel­li­gence was mon­i­tor­ing the UID, describ­ing it as “nation­al­ist” and incom­pat­i­ble with Germany’s free demo­c­ra­t­ic order. Accord­ing to an arti­cle by two Turk­ish aca­d­e­mics, Turkey has attempt­ed to influ­ence its dias­po­ra and Mus­lims in the West through instru­men­tal­iz­ing dis­course cen­tered on Islamophobia.

Rel­e­vant GIOR report­ing has included:

  • In Feb­ru­ary 2021, we report­ed that the new head of the UID was a mem­ber of the Turk­ish ultra­na­tion­al­ist Grey Wolves movement.
  • In Jan­u­ary 2021, we report­ed that a French orga­ni­za­tion head­ed by a UID founder had reject­ed a “char­ter of prin­ci­ples” writ­ten by French Mus­lim lead­ers and aimed at fight­ing sec­tar­i­an­ism and extrem­ist teachings.
  • In Jan­u­ary 2021, we report­ed that a Turk­ish think tank con­nect­ed to Pres­i­dent Erdoğan host­ed a pan­el dis­cus­sion on “Crim­i­nal­iza­tion of Mus­lim Polit­i­cal Activism in Europe.”


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