Grey Wolves taking lead among right-wing movements in Germany – report

Turkish ultranationalist group Grey Wolves has become one of the strongest right-wing extremist movements in Germany, German news site Tagesschau reported, citing a report by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) released on Friday.

Grey Wolves, who maintain the ideology of hatred of minorities, are systematically transmitting their racist views throughout Germany with over 18,000 members, Tagesschau said.

"The Gray Wolves are organized nationwide in numerous local associations and umbrella organizations in Germany and glorifies the Turkish nation as well as certain Islamist views," Kemal Bozay, a professor of social work and social sciences at the International University of Cologne, who led the study on behalf of the AJC, said.

"They are transmitting political and historical conflicts from their country of origin, Turkey, into Germany and are developing into a transnational political movement”, Bozay said, adding that there were least 18,500 members, forming one of the strongest right-wing extremist movements in this country.

Bozay also referred to demonstrations organized by rocker clubs in German cities. The existence of several German-Turkish rappers, whose anti-Semitic, nationalist and anti-Kurdish texts are appreciated by some young people of Turkish origin, are also

problematic, Bozay noted.

The study calls on the German state and the security authorities for urgent action. However, major measures against the "gray wolves" have largely failed to be realized.

Attention should also be paid to the Union of Turkish-Islamic Cultural Associations in Europe (ATIB), the Federation of Turkish-Democratic Idealist Associations in Germany and the Association of Turkish Cultural Associations in Europe (ATB), AJC director Remko Leemhuis said.

“It is worrying that the ATIB is being monitored by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, but at the same time is the Federal Government's interlocutor through its membership in the Central Council of Muslims in Germany (ZMD),’’ according to Leemhuis.

In November, German parties submitted a motion to parliament, which sought to ban groups linked to the Grey Wolves, following in the footsteps of France.

“They are racist, anti-Semitic and anti-democratic and threatens internal security in this country. We need better observation of the movement," Tagesschau cited Cem Özdemir, a member of the Green Party, who himself had been threatened by Turkish nationalists, as saying.

The Grey Wolves organization has ties with the ultra-nationalist Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in Turkey, which is the junior coalition partner of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).