Are Turkish imams in Germany praying for Kurds’ defeat in Syria? – DW

Turkish imams in Germany have been accused of calling on worshippers to pray for the success of Turkey’s military offensive in Syria, leading to cries of protest from German opposition politicians and Kurds in Germany, public broadcaster DW said.

The reports come at a time of tense relations between Turkey and Germany over the imprisonment of a German journalist in Turkey, Germany’s granting of asylum to Turkish citizens accused of involvement in the 2016 failed coup, and reports of Turkey’s use of German-made tanks in its incursion into Syria.

Turkey’s state religious authority last week called on all imams to give sermons and pray and for the victory of Turkish army.

Mosques run by the largest religious organisation of Turkish Muslims in Germany, the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB), had apparently followed the call, DW said.

DITIB, closely tied to Turkey’s state religious authority, rejected the accusations, saying no centralised appeal was made and each mosque chose its own sermons and prayers, DW said.

Mustafa Yeneroğlu, a member of the parliament for Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), told DW no one had prayed for war, but “instead for the survival of Turkish soldiers … That is the most natural thing in the world.”