Turkey's DİTİB reportedly on German intelligence agency's agenda

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 21.09.2018 23:53

The German domestic intelligence agency, BfV, has reportedly decided to scrutinize the activities of Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DİTİB) in order to decide whether to put the organization under official surveillance or not.

German media reports on Thursday suggested that BfV sent a confidential dossier on DİTİB to 16 Germany states and asked them to provide material and comments on its activities.

The BfV and state security agencies will reportedly discuss the issue in November. Meanwhile, the reports also suggested that some of the states were against any possible investigation.

The Cologne-based DİTİB is one of the largest Islamic organizations in Germany. It was founded in 1984 as a branch of the Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), Turkey's top religious body.

DİTİB runs more than 900 mosques. For many years, it was a partner in many government-supported counter-extremism and integration projects.

The decision to examine DİTİB's activities comes at a time when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan preparing to visit Germany on Sept. 28-29.

Relations between Germany and Turkey hit rock bottom in 2017 when German municipalities banned Turkish politicians from campaigning for a referendum in the country.

However, Turkey and Germany have been trying to revitalize their relations for some time now. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass gave positive messages and expressed their wish to normalize ties.

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