Germany to ban Turkish 'Gray Wolves' far-right symbols
German politicians on Tuesday announced plans for a legislation banning the symbols and gestures of the ultra-nationalist Turkish organization the Gray Wolves, German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported.
The lawmakers are looking to specifically outlaw the "wolf" hand salute, which they claim is reminiscent of the Nazi salute, it said.
The Grey Wolves, an ultra-nationalist youth organization known for their violent behavior and promotion of fascism, is seen as Turkey’s far-right Nationalist Movement Party’s (MHP) paramilitary or militant wing.
"Any form of fascism is inhuman and a threat to our liberal society," Deutsche Welle quoted Christian Democrat (CDU) politician Christoph de Vries as saying.
Germany’s Left party also expressed a desire to ban the group's most obvious trappings with lawmaker Sevim Dagdelen noting, "The greeting of the Gray Wolves, one of the largest right-wing extremist and anti-constitutional organizations in Germany, is quite comparable to the Hitler salute and should therefore be banned."
The gesture in question created a stir in Germany last year when Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu used it during a visiting to Turkey's consulate in Hamburg.
The government of Austria is also working concretely on banning the salute, Deutsche Welle reported.
The Gray Wolves, who rose to prominence during Turkey’s heightened political violence in 1970s, took part in one of the country’s most notorious massacres in 1978, when ultranationalist mobs killed at least 111 in the southern province of Kahramanmaraş, most of them Alevis, followers of an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam comprising 10-15 percent of the Turkish population.