Even though it has been more than 60 years since they settled in Germany, the Turkish community still faces threats and encounters issues such as racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and discrimination, the Turkish ambassador to Berlin said Tuesday.
While attending an iftar dinner to mark the breaking of the daily fast during Ramadan organized by the Independent Industrialists' and Businesspeople's Association (MÜSİAD Berlin) in the German capital, Ambassador Ahmet Başar Şen underlined that Turks constitute the majority of the Muslim population living in Germany.
The German Turkish community, with a population of over 3.5 million, is the most important human network connecting Turkey and Germany, Şen emphasized, adding that this community is the strongest component of the deep-rooted friendship and partnership between the two countries.
Şen also highlighted that the Turkish community made valuable contributions to the reconstruction and development of Germany.
"If Germany is among the economic and technological giants of the world today, it has reached this position thanks to the efforts of our people, their children and grandchildren who came here 60 years ago. On the other hand, despite all these years, the threats and problems such as racism, xenophobia, anti-Islamism and discrimination that Turkish society faces in this country unfortunately continue. The Hanau attack two years ago is the most painful example of this."
On Feb. 19, 2020, a 43-year-old assailant attacked two cafes in Hanau, killing nine young people and injuring five others. All the victims had migrant backgrounds.
Before the attack, the far-right extremist posted videos on the internet detailing his xenophobic views, and later, he killed his mother and himself.
Germany has experienced a rise in racism and Islamophobia in recent years. Germany is home to 84 million people and hosts the second-largest Muslim population in Western Europe after France. Of the country’s nearly 5 million Muslims, at least 3 million are of Turkish descent.
The Turkish community in Europe is concerned with the rising trend of Islamophobia and Turkophobia in Western countries and has called on European states to escalate measures against hate crimes.
Turkish officials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, have frequently urged European decision-makers and politicians to take a stance against racism and other types of discrimination that have threatened the lives of millions of people living within the bloc’s borders.