Mustafa Yeneroğlu, head of the Turkish parliament's human rights committee, called on the German public yesterday to stand against violence targeting Turks in Germany, saying they do not feel safe due to a recent spate of attacks.
His remarks come two days after the Gelsenkirchen branch of the Union of European Turkish Democrats (UETD) was vandalized by alleged supporters of the terrorist organization, the PKK, who spray-painted insults targeting the association and broke windows. It was the eighth similar attack targeting UETD branches across Germany this year, and follows an attack at the same branch six months ago.
Yeneroğlu said the German public should stand against groups reckless enough to attack a nongovernmental organization. "They should stand behind UETD and express a clear and determined stance against such acts of violence," the lawmaker said in a statement. He underlined that such attacks carried out by terrorist groups in Germany have almost become routine and hurt Turks' sense of safety in Germany.
"It should be questioned why there isn't public outrage when there have been eight attacks in one year against an association appreciated by the public, a democratic association operating in 15 European countries, an association calling for social peace and harmony. This attack by a group banned by Germany and under the surveillance of German authorities indicates that Germany has failed to sufficiently combat such groups and on the contrary, provided a feasible ground for such groups to carry out attacks openly," Yeneroğlu stated.
Yeneroğlu echoes Erol Yukarıbaş, who runs the Gelsenkirchen branch of the UETD. Yukarıbaş told Anadolu Agency (AA) after the attack that police did not find the culprits in the previous attack six months ago, though he added that now the intelligence service had also shown interest in the investigation. Zafer Sırakaya, head of the UETD, had earlier stated they were concerned about attacks by terrorist groups. "We are worried that the authorities, German politicians left UETD alone in the face of the attacks," Sırakaya told AA.
Turks, believed to be the largest ethnic minority in Germany with a population of more than 3 million, have long been victims of racist attacks since they arrived in the country as "guest workers" decades ago. The community has already been rocked by revelations that a neo-Nazi gang was responsible for the murder of eight Turks in the early 2000s. Mustafa Yeneroğlu says Turkish German citizens are "yet to recover from the insecurity they felt from German authorities' negligence and reluctance to punish the Nationalist Socialist Underground (NSU) gang."
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