TurkeyMarch 3 2023, 10:45 am

German Politicians Visit, Praise Controversial Turkish-German Mosque Association

Turk­ish media is report­ing that Ger­man state politi­cians vis­it­ed and praised their local branch of a Turk­ish-Ger­man mosque asso­ci­a­tion with close ties to the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment. The fol­low­ing is a par­tial sum­ma­ry of the Hür­riyet report:

Jan­u­ary 10, 2023 Saar­land State Prime Min­is­ter Anke Rehlinger (SPD) vis­it­ed the Völk­lin­gen Selimiye Mosque of the Turk­ish Islam­ic Union for Reli­gious Affairs (DITIB). Dur­ing the vis­it, she met with mem­bers of the mosque’s board of direc­tors, heads of the wom­en’s, youth and par­ents’ branch­es and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of non-gov­ern­men­tal orga­ni­za­tions. The Pres­i­dent of the Völk­lin­gen DITIB Selimiye Mosque Asso­ci­a­tion thanked Prime Min­is­ter Rehlinger for her vis­it and pro­vid­ed infor­ma­tion about the work and facil­i­ties of the mosque. Rehlinger expressed her plea­sure in vis­it­ing the mosque, which she said pro­duces good projects for the com­mu­ni­ty and does good work. She con­grat­u­lat­ed the mosque asso­ci­a­tion for its high lev­el of social activ­i­ties, say­ing it is not only a place of wor­ship but also a part of the com­mu­ni­ty and demon­strates that it is not closed to the com­mu­ni­ty. She hoped that their activ­i­ties would guide and enlight­en oth­er asso­ci­a­tions and thanked them for allo­cat­ing their pre­cious time for her. [Sum­ma­ry of an edit­ed trans­la­tion by DeepL]

Read the rest here.

The arti­cle addi­tion­al­ly reports that Völk­lin­gen May­or Chris­tine Blatt also praised DITIB’s activ­i­ties, as did Region­al MP Stephanie Meiser.

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 has a role in edu­ca­tion about Islam in Ger­many, as evi­denced by the coop­er­a­tion between DITIB and state schools, and 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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