TurkeyOctober 17 2022, 11:06 am

Turkish Ruling Party Starts Election Campaigning in German Mosques

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

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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.


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