German media is reporting that the heads of multiple Turkish-German organizations met with the Turkish President and the Defense Minister in Turkey. According to the Welt report:
April 30, 2021 Everyone got their personal photo with the Turkish president: Kemal Ergün, the chairman of the Cologne-based Islamic community Milli Görüs, Kazim Türkmen, his colleague from the Turkish religious umbrella organization DITIB, Durmus Yildirim, head of the far-right Grey Wolves umbrella organization ATIB — and Köksal Kus, the new chairman of the European AKP lobby organization UID. All of them and other representatives of German-Turkish organizations had traveled to Ankara this week and were received by Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar. Photos of the meeting were circulated on the net by the Turkish government. The content of the talks was not made public.[…]
For years, experts have pointed to the close ties between the participating organizations and the Turkish government. Erdogan’s meeting with representatives of UID, DITIB, Milli Görüs, ATIB, the Müsiad business association and the Federation of Turkish Democratic Idealist Associations in Germany (ADÜTDF), which also belongs to the Gray Wolves spectrum, has a “new dimension.” There are “all organizations and institutions, which have rank and name in the network of the AKP”. They had apparently concluded that “a common strategy” was needed.[…]
ADÜTDF President Sentürk Dogruyol also published a photo on social media of a meeting with the head of the far-right Turkish party MHP, Devlet Bahceli. [Translated by DeepL with edits]
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Islamische Gemeinschaft Millî Görüş (IGMG) is the German branch of Millî Görüş, 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. The GIOR has reported that the German government is asserting that President Erdoğan’s AKP party has intensified its relations with Millî Görüş in Germany.
According to US media, Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution has said that the Federation of Associations of Turkish Democratic Idealists (ADÜTDF) and the Union of Turkish-Islamic Cultural Associations in Europe (ATİB) are umbrella organizations representing the Gray Wolves in Europe. The Gray Wolves are a right-wing, pan-Turkish, ultranationalist Turkish youth and street movement founded in the 1960s. The Office describes the Gray Wolves as spreading nationalist and right-wing extremist thought and as having connections to the Turkish ultranationalist National Action Party (MHP), the AKP’s government coalition partner, though the MHP “rejects any organic ties” with the Gray Wolves.
The Union of International Democrats (UID) describes itself as an NGO founded in 2014 that operates in several European countries and which identifies combatting Islamophobia as one of its purposes. German media has described the UID as a lobbying group for President Erdoğan and his AKP political party. German domestic intelligence has monitored the UID, describing it as “nationalist” and incompatible with Germany’s free democratic order. GIOR has reported that its head, Köksal Kus, was a member of the ADÜTDF.
The Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs, also known as DITIB, manages over 900 mosques in Germany. The Turkish Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) determines the theological guidelines for the imams’ sermons, and the Turkish consulate pays their salaries.
Other relevant GIOR reporting has included:
- In April 2021, we reported that Erdoğan spoke at a UID meeting.
- In April 2021, we reported about a DITIB imam training program in Germany,
- In March 2021, we reported that DITIB, IGMG, and the Diyanet were selling a book calling for death for insulting the Prophet Mohammed and approving “light beating” for women.