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Jan 07 2019

Radical Islamists attended Turkey-linked DITIB event in Germany

Radical Islamists participated in a conference organised by the Turkish government in the central mosque of the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB), German newspaper Kölner-Stadt Anzeiger reported on Jan. 6. 

"The Turkish-Islamic Union, DITIB, apparently maintains close contacts with alleged leading Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in Germany," the newspaper said.  

The Turkish government organised an Islam conference in a DITIB mosque in Cologne, in which leading representatives of MB-related organisations also participated, according to the German daily.

"The three-day meeting that ended last Friday was about 'the future of Muslims in Europe'," Kölner-Stadt Anzeiger said.

A spokesman for Interior Ministry told the newspaper that it was known "that Turkey supports the Muslim Brotherhood movement. DITIB, which is in a relationship of dependence with the Turkish religious authorities, apparently has no fear to contact with the Muslim Brotherhood".

The conference, which experts evaluate as an alternative to the German Islam Conference of the Federal Government, took place almost unnoticed by the public. Turkey's Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) had organised the meeting with more than 100 participants from 17 countries.

DITIB, which was set up in 1984 as a branch of the Diyanet, funds around 900 mosques in Germany and boasts a membership of around 800,000.

While DITIB says it is not officially linked to the Turkish state, it has been accused of spying on German citizens for Turkey, resulting in a temporary suspension of federal funding in 2017.