Turkish officials say the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) was behind the stabbing of Savaş Çelik, a Turkish national who served on a mosque's board in Germany.
Çelik was threatened and stabbed by two masked men in Bretten where he served at a mosque run by the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DİTİB). The DİTİB has faced a defamation campaign both by German politicians and FETÖ, accusing it of spying on FETÖ members.
The 45-year-old was walking down the street on Wednesday night when two men wearing masks approached him and pulled him into a dark alley. Çelik told police that men wielding a knife and a pistol first tied him up and then threatened him.
Media outlets reported that the assailants told him to "stay away from brothers and sisters," a term commonly used by FETÖ to refer to its members, before stabbing him and hitting him with the pistol.
Çelik was slightly injured in the attack, while German police launched an investigation into the incident.
Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Yavuz Selim Kıran tweeted on Thursday that Çelik was "stabbed by FETÖ terrorists" and he phoned him and wished him well following the attack. "How many disasters need to happen before people know that FETÖ is a criminal network?" Kıran tweeted.
A statement released by the DİTİB on Friday said the assailants identified themselves as members of the "Gülen Movement." It said they gave Çelik a list of people and told him "to stay away from them.""We call upon authorities to thoroughly investigate the incident and take more measures for safety of DİTİB executives and mosques. The DİTİB will not yield to such provocation attempts but will follow up the process regarding the assailants," the statement read. Germany is viewed as primary safe haven for FETÖ members due to its apparent tolerance toward the group, which is not recognized as a terrorist group by Berlin. The terrorist group promotes itself as a moderate religious movement focused on charity and strives to provoke action against other Turks abroad that do not side with them.