Jan 10 2019

AKP deputy blasts Germany for funding religious project with alleged Gülen link

The development of a place of worship catering for Muslim, Christian and Jewish worshippers in Berlin has sparked a reaction from Turkey due to the involvement of the Gülen organisation, a religious movement outlawed in Turkey, German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported on Thursday.

“The use of German taxpayers’ money to support a project that Fethullah Gülen is participating in is a scandal,” DW quoted Mustafa Yeneroğlu, a deputy for Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) as saying.

The “House of One” project aims to construct a compound containing a mosque, synagogue and church by 2020. The building is projected to cost over 43 million euros. The German government has conditionally pledged 10 million of this amount, while private donors have so far gathered donations worth 8.5 million euros.

Turkey’s point of contention lies in the fact that the group representing Muslims in the project, Forum Dialog, is widely known for its links to the Gülen movement, which the AKP government blames for a coup attempt in July 2016.

Forum Dialog states on its website that it was inspired by the teachings of Fethullah Gülen, the Islamist preacher and leader of the movement.

Turkey is currently seeking Gülen’s extradition from the United States, where he has been resident since 1999.