German media is reporting that the Turkish ruling party AKP has started its election campaign with several events in mosques across Germany. According to the newspaper “Frankfurter Rundschau”:
September 27, 2022 Events with members of parliament from the Turkish ruling party AKP took place in several German mosques last weekend. The visits took place mainly in mosque congregations of DITIB and IGMG (“Milli Görüş”). The deputies also visited offices of the AKP lobby organization “UID” and the AKP-affiliated business association “MÜSIAD”. In the DITIB community Hemmingen MP Tuba Vural Cokal had met with officials of the mosque, the politician shared on Twitter. “Our most important characteristic is that we are Muslim Turks,” she wrote. A day earlier, Varol visited the DITIB mosque in Heilbronn. The MP also posted several pictures of herself and her meetings with UID and MÜSIAD officials last weekend. The “Sehitlik Mosque,” which belongs to DITIB, was visited last Friday by AKP MP Erol Kavuncu and MP Ibrahim Yurdunuseven — a member of the far-right MHP. Yurdunuseven also shared pictures on Twitter of his joint visit with AKP Representative for Germany Meryem Göka at the UID in Berlin. Also present at the meeting was the chairman of the “Almanya Türk Federasyon (ATF), Ibrahim Yigit. The organization is attributed to the right-wing extremist “Grey Wolves”. The AKP’s Germany representative, Meryem Göka, had met with leaders of the IGMG (Milli Görüş) mosque association in Berlin. The meeting was also attended by Hümeyra Ciftci, chairwoman of the Berlin UID Women’s Association, and Tugba Isik Ercan, deputy chairwoman for AKP external relations. (Translated using deepl.com)
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DITIB is the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (Turkish: Diyanet İşleri Türk-İslam Birliği). It 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 their salaries are paid by the Diyanet or the local Turkish consulate.
The Islamische Gemeinschaft Millî Görüş (IGMG) is part of the Turkish political movement Millî Görüş, which aims to transform Turkey into an Islamic state. The movement was founded in 1969 by former Turkish Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan, who, until his death, headed the Islamist Felicity Party in Turkey. The ideology and political agenda of Millî Görüş has called for an end to the secular regime in Turkey through education and preaching. IGMG oversees the work of Millî Görüş chapters in at least 12 European countries and states that it has over 127,000 members worldwide.
The Union of International Democrats (UID, formerly known as the Union of European Turkish Democrats) describes itself as a voluntary NGO founded in 2004 that operates in several European countries. Its aims include increasing the economic, political, and social activities of Turks and “sister communities” abroad without alienating their identities and values and combatting Islamophobia. German media has described it as a lobbying group for President Erdoğan and his AKP 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.
MÜSİAD (Turkish: Müstakil Sanayici ve İşadamları Derneği, Independent Industrialists and Businessmen Association) is a Turkish businessman’s group founded in 1990 which aims to create a synthesis of business and Islamic conservative values. It professes not to be a political organization yet has supported the AKP financially, been supported by President Erdoğan, and MÜSİAD leaders have left their positions to become AKP politicians themselves.