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New Head of European Turkish Lobbying Group Was Member of Ultranationalist Movement

February 19th, 2021 13:44

Ger­man media is report­ing that the new head of a pro-Turk­ish lob­by­ing group has also been a mem­ber of a Turk­ish ultra­na­tion­al­ist move­ment. Accord­ing to the Tagess­chau report, Kök­sal Kus is the new head of the Union of Inter­na­tion­al Democrats:

Jan­u­ary 27, 2021 …rel­a­tive­ly lit­tle is known so far about the new man at the helm of UID [the Union of Inter­na­tion­al Democ­rats]. Kök­sal Kus was born in Turkey in 1960 and has lived in Ger­many since 1979. He stud­ied mechan­i­cal engi­neer­ing and is appar­ent­ly active as an entre­pre­neur in the con­struc­tion indus­try. So far, he has been a mem­ber of the board of UID. Accord­ing to the Turk­ish news­pa­per “Avru­patürkgazete­si,” Kus was an active mem­ber for sev­er­al years of the “Föder­a­tion der Türkisch-Demokratis­chen Ide­al­is­ten­vere­ine in Deutsch­land e.V.”, an orga­ni­za­tion that, accord­ing to the Office for the Pro­tec­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion of Baden-Würt­tem­berg, is a “gath­er­ing place for extreme nation­al­ists with a Turk­ish migra­tion back­ground” and is also part of the “Gray Wolves” movement.

Trans­lat­ed by DeepL with edits.

Read the rest here.

The Union of Inter­na­tion­al Democ­rats (UID, for­mer­ly known as the Union of Euro­pean Turk­ish Democ­rats) describes itself as a vol­un­tary NGO found­ed in 2014 that oper­ates in sev­er­al Euro­pean coun­tries. Its pur­pos­es include increas­ing the eco­nom­ic, polit­i­cal, and social activ­i­ties of Turks and “sis­ter com­mu­ni­ties” abroad with­out alien­at­ing their iden­ti­ties and val­ues as well as com­bat­ting Islam­o­pho­bia. Ger­man media has described the UID as a lob­by­ing group for Pres­i­dent Erdoğan and his AKP polit­i­cal par­ty that empha­sizes Turk­ish val­ues and cus­toms. The Ger­man Office for the Pro­tec­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion mon­i­tors the UID, describ­ing it as “nation­al­ist” and incom­pat­i­ble with Ger­many’s free demo­c­ra­t­ic order.

The Gray Wolves are a right-wing ultra­na­tion­al­ist Turk­ish youth and street move­ment found­ed in the 1960s and often described as “affil­i­at­ed” with the Nation­al Action Par­ty, the AKP’s gov­ern­ment coali­tion part­ner. Their ide­ol­o­gy is pan-Turk­ist, seek­ing to unite all Tur­kic peo­ples in the world, and sec­u­lar. France has banned the Gray Wolves, cit­ing “extreme­ly vio­lent actions, dis­sem­i­nat­ing “extreme­ly vio­lent threats” and cre­at­ing “incite­ment to hatred against author­i­ties and Arme­ni­ans,” and some Ger­man politi­cians have called on Ger­many to do the same. The Turk­ish For­eign Min­istry has denied the exis­tence of the group while at the same time object­ing to the ban.