TurkeyJuly 25 2022, 12:26 pm

German Politicians Attended Iftars Held by Turkish Influence Organizations

Ger­man media report­ed in May that Ger­man politi­cians had attend­ed Ramadan fast-break­ing cer­e­monies (iftars) held by Turk­ish-influ­ence orga­ni­za­tions. Accord­ing to the Frank­furter Rund­schau report:

May 3, 2022: Düs­sel­dorf — The mosque asso­ci­a­tions DITIB and “Islamis­che Gemein­schaft Mil­li Görüş e.V.” (IGMG) or “Mil­li Görüs Move­ment” are still con­sid­ered con­tro­ver­sial. After the coup attempt in Turkey in 2016, DITIB came under crit­i­cism because sev­er­al imams of the asso­ci­a­tion had spied for the Turk­ish intel­li­gence ser­vice MIT. Now DITIB seems to have gone on the offen­sive to pol­ish its image. Dur­ing the month of Ramadan, politi­cians were invit­ed to DITIB mosques to break their fast. The IGMG also wants to pol­ish up its image. Its name appears in the reports of the Office for the Pro­tec­tion of the Constitution. […]

Among the guests was the non­par­ti­san may­or of Cologne, Hen­ri­ette Rek­er. On April 29, Rek­er was invit­ed to be a guest at the DITIB’s fed­er­al head­quar­ters in Cologne. Accord­ing to DITIB’s Twit­ter account, the meet­ing took place in a “small cir­cle” of the cen­tral mosque of the Rhine metrop­o­lis, informs the. Answer­ing our request, the may­or’s office said it was an “infor­mal” con­ver­sa­tion. The focus of the din­ner was the impor­tance of Ramadan and the communities.[…]

There was a sim­i­lar break­ing of the fast on April 25 in the Mevlana mosque in Duis­burg, attend­ed by the may­or of the Ruhr city, Volk­er Mos­blech (CDU). The mosque belongs to the IGMG orga­ni­za­tion, which is also con­tro­ver­sial and appears in the 2020 report on the pro­tec­tion of the con­sti­tu­tion. “For this ide­ol­o­gy, an anti-sec­u­lar and anti-West­ern polit­i­cal vision is char­ac­ter­is­tic,” the report says. Two mem­bers of the ATIB were also said to have been present at the din­ner. Accord­ing to the Fed­er­al Office for the Pro­tec­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion, the orga­ni­za­tion belongs to the right-wing extrem­ist “Ülkücü” move­ment (“Gray Wolves”). Mos­blech claims to have known noth­ing about this. A coun­cil mem­ber invit­ed him, he said when asked. [Trans­lat­ed by DeepL with edits]

Read the rest here.

The Turk­ish-Islam­ic Union for Reli­gious Affairs (DITIB) man­ages over 900 mosques in Ger­many. At the same time, the Turk­ish Direc­torate of Reli­gious Affairs  (Diyanet)  deter­mines the the­o­log­i­cal guide­lines for imams’ ser­mons, and the Turk­ish con­sulate pays their salaries. DITIB, how­ev­er, main­tains that it is inde­pen­dent of the Turk­ish state.  Ger­man politi­cians have sought to have imams trained in Ger­many instead of sent over from Turkey in part to reduce Turkey’s influ­ence in the country.

Mil­lî Görüş is a Turk­ish reli­gious and polit­i­cal move­ment found­ed by Necmet­tin Erbakan, Erdoğan’s polit­i­cal men­tor, which has called for an end to the sec­u­lar regime in Turkey. In Ger­many, Mil­lî Görüş oper­ates as the Islamis­che Gemein­schaft Mil­lî Görüş (IGMG), which over­sees the work of Mil­lî Görüş chap­ters in at least 12 Euro­pean coun­tries and states that it has over 127,000 mem­bers world­wide. The GIOR has report­ed about the Ger­man gov­ern­men­t’s asser­tion that Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Erdoğan’s AKP par­ty has inten­si­fied its rela­tions with Mil­lî Görüş in Germany.


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