Communications Director Fahrettin Altun highlighted that the normalization and legitimization of racism under the guise of freedom of expression continues to pose a serious threat to minorities living in the West.
Altun's remarks came in the opening speech of a panel Monday titled "Seeking Justice for the Hanau Victims: The Far-Right Terrorist Threat in Germany," dedicated to people with migrant backgrounds killed on Feb. 19, 2020, when a far-right terrorist attacked two cafes in the German town of Hanau.
"Every racist attack that is not accounted for and shed light upon brings along new acts of terrorism," Altun said. "We will never bow to terrorism."
He stressed that the point of the panel was not to point fingers at Germany but draw attention to grave troubles haunting scores of foreigners in a constructive and solution-oriented way.
Stressing that Turkey's main concern is to ensure that millions of Turks living in Germany live their lives free of fear and can feel like "equal individuals," not "potential victims," he said the problem of racism in Germany must first be acknowledged before it can be eliminated.
"There is no cure without a diagnosis," he said.
According to Altun, German politicians, officials and journalists deny the problem of racism, and politicians condemn racist acts of terrorism but constantly say they are "shocked" by such aggression.
This expression of shock is a "defense mechanism" for some politicians who took more of a racist attitude after the far-right gained power, he said, also arguing that the media calls white assailants "mentally disturbed" while non-white ones are called "terrorists."
Such an attitude puts all the blame on a handful of mentally sick people, without attributing anything to society, but the media only report bloody cases of racism while ignoring other attacks in this context, he added.
Muslims in Germany are systematically criminalized and the religion of Islam is treated as a domestic security threat, according to Altun.
"Racist feelings toward minorities, especially Turks, are sometimes expressed in the public arena through humor. I would like to express clearly that insults and attacks against our country in European countries directed toward our president are expressions of this covert racism," he said.
Forsaken in its fight against terrorist groups, Turkey could not understand how such groups could collect money or recruit members in Europe, he said, arguing that this shows double standards toward Turkey.
"There cannot be any other explanation of the EU's effort to whitewash the PKK, which is on the list of terror groups, and paint the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) network of treason, which turned the streets into a bloodbath on July 15 (2016), as a handful of dissidents," he said.
FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen orchestrated the defeated coup, which left 251 people dead and 2,734 injured.
FETÖ is accused of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.
One of the panelists, Klaus Jurgens, said that during the Cold War, East and West Germany used denigrating expressions against each other but it would not be right to attribute the tendency of extremism to this separation alone.
Jurgens added that the language used by the far right is not only visible in the streets but also in academic circles and that the advantages of multiculturalism should be explained to younger generations in a bid to prevent xenophobia.
Meanwhile, Muhterem Dilbirliği of the Turkish National Police Academy said racism is a "poison" and racist attacks took place in the 1990s as well, adding that government authorities would opt not to attend the funeral of the victims, but that there is a difference in the rhetoric of governments today.
Studies of such attacks found that security forces worked in an uncoordinated manner and Germany's Constitutional Court prepared a report describing the situation, and various news reports highlighted that far-right tendencies were growing in the army.
Kaan Elbir, the editor-in-chief of TRT Deutsch, commented on the language and perspective used by the German media, saying that terms such as "Islamic terror" are used if the perpetrator had a migrant background while some outlets view such cases as opportunities to put the blame on the Quran and Islam.
Elbir also said the assailant, if white, is linked to the Russian mafia, or painted as mentally unstable, but xenophobia is never mentioned.
On Feb. 19, 2020, far-right extremist Tobias Rathjen attacked two cafes in the city of Hanau, killing nine young people and injuring five others. All the victims had migrant backgrounds.