German media is reporting that the Hamburg City Senate would allow groups influenced by the Turkish and Iranian governments to have input in youth welfare. According to the Die Welt report:
February 15, 2022: The red-green Hamburg Senate wants the Islamic associations DITIB and Shura to have a say in youth welfare. DITIB has close ties to Turkey, while the Islamic Center Hamburg, which is loyal to Iran, belongs to Hamburg’s Shura Council. The plans are also controversial among the Greens.[…] In Hamburg, youth welfare issues are decided by the State Youth Welfare Committee of the Social Welfare Authority. In the future, the red-green Senate also wants to allow representatives of two controversial Islamic organizations to become advisory members of this committee. These are the Northern Regional Association of the German-Turkish mosque association DITIB, which has close ties to the Turkish state, and the umbrella organization Shura Hamburg, which includes the Islamic Center Hamburg — according to the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, “an important propaganda center of Iran in Europe.” […] In fact, the controversial Islamic Center of Hamburg has not been represented on the Shura board since January of this year. The chairman [of Shura Hamburg} is Fatih Yildiz. He belongs to the Islamic Community Milli Görüs (IGMG), which is monitored by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution in the area of Islamism. However, references to extremism have become weaker in recent years. In Hamburg, the Office does not monitor IGMG. [Translated by DeepL with edits]
Read the rest here (paywall)
The article also reports on a similar situation in the city of Essen, where DITIB wishes to become a sponsor of independent youth welfare services.
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, partly to reduce Turkey’s influence in the country.
Islamische Gemeinschaft Millî Görüş (IGMG) is a part of the Millî Görüş movement, a Turkish religious and political movement founded by Necmettin Erbakan, Turkish President Erdoğan’s political mentor and which has called for an end to the secular regime in Turkey. The Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) has reported that according to the German government, Erdoğan’s AKP party has intensified its relations with Millî Görüş in Germany.
Hamburg’s Shura Council is one of the city’s partners and grants privileges such as providing Islamic religious instruction.
The Islamic Centre Hamburg is an influential mosque closely linked to the Islamic Republic of Iran and monitored by Germany’s internal intelligence agency for 26 years. In January, GIOR reported on the Centre’s leaving the Shura Council’s board.
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