Turkey concerned on Islamophobic poster
ANKARA / BERLIN
Deputy PM Bozdağ (R) attends a meeting in Ankara. He criticizes Germany’s poster campaign by saying it was an affront to Muslims since it sees Muslims as a security concern. AA photoA poster campaign by Germany’s Interior Ministry to advertise a hotline for those worried that a friend or family member may be turning to radical Islam has met with strong criticism from Turkish officials.
Citing German Prime Minister Angela Merkel’s decision to disable a court decision prohibiting circumcision, the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ has called on her to again take steps against her interior ministry’s latest initiative. “I hope she will not let this campaign be launched,” Bozdağ told reporters yesterday, adding that the law of the state should stand against real criminals and terrorists, “instead of incriminating innocent people.” The campaign has been founded under the “Security Partnership Initiative” by Germany’s Interior Ministry. Bozdağ said the campaign was an affront to Muslims “since it sees Muslim people as a security concern.”
“On the one hand you say you will fight against Islamophobia, on the other hand you take steps that result in Islamophobia capturing all parts of society,” he added. The posters read “Missing” above a portrait of a young man or woman, and read: “This is our son Ahmad. We miss him, because we don’t recognize him anymore. He is withdrawing more and more, becoming more radical every day. We are afraid of losing him altogether to religious fanatics and terrorist groups. If you think like us, get in contact with the radicalization counseling centers.”
Meanwhile, officials from Turkey’s Turks Abroad and Relative Communities Directorate, the Foreign Ministry, the Justice Ministry, the European Union Ministry, and the Directorate-General for Religious Affairs (Diyanet) held a meeting yesterday in order to discuss precautions related to the negative repercussions of such a campaign.
Report on possible attacks
In a separate development, German law enforcement agencies have warned in a secret report that attacks by neo-Nazi elements “should be expected” against foreigners, Jewish institutions and state representatives, “such as politicians, public figures, and police officers,” Der Spiegel reported Sept. 9.
A secret report issued by the Federal Office of Criminal Investigation in July warned that the attacks could come from neo-Nazi individuals or groups and may include arson attacks, possibly on refugee hostels and Jewish community buildings.