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]
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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.