Racism reaches core of Germany as Islamophobic attacks surge: AK Party deputy

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published

The chairman of Parliament's Human Rights Investigation Committee, Mustafa Yeneroğlu, said racism has turned to a political culture and found ground in German society. Yeneroğlu, a ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputy, came together with the representatives of nongovernmental organizations in Germany's Essen province.

"Mosques are attacked every day in Germany and at least one refugee camp gets attacked on a daily basis," Yeneroğlu told reporters after the meeting, adding that racism has reached the core of German society and has become a political culture in the country.

He emphasized that disregarding racism in Germany was not an acceptable attitude. He also contended that neglecting attacks against Muslims by police and intelligence proves existence of "institutional racism."

A recent report by Turkey's Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) has revealed rising anti-Muslim sentiments across Germany in the fields of education, the media, law, and the internet.

According to another report written by Alexandra Lewicki, an expert in political sociology, anti-Muslim tendencies in Germany have been gradually increasing since 2015. A variety of minorities have been affected according to the report, as the number of attacks on Muslims and refugee shelters has quintupled in two years.

"Until 2014, 199 attacks on refugee shelters were recorded. However, in 2015, the number of attacks reached 1,031, quadrupling," the report said, indicating that the number of attacks reached its maximum level in 2016.

Yeneroğlu also said the election success of the far-right Alternative for Germany Party (AfD) not only threatens Turkish society or minorities but is also a "pluralist environment and free society" to a great extent. A sharp rise was observed in votes for the AfD party in the latest general elections as the party obtained 13.3 percent of the votes and got around 90 seats in the German parliament. The negotiations for a coalition government continue as none of the parties could get a majority in the elections.

The AK Party deputy called on German authorities to completely enlighten the National Socialist Underground (NSU) killings case, where eight ethnic Turks in Germany were murdered by a neo-Nazi gang between 2000 and 2007. The gang is also responsible for bank robberies and a bombing in a predominantly Turkish-German neighborhood.

"We are in the sixth year after the NSU killings were revealed. The sudden deaths of at least six witnesses of the case, as well as closing intelligence files for 120 years does not comply with the rule of law in Germany," he said.

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