Turkish Islamic union in Germany calls for reducing tensions, returning objectivity

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Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB) in Germany called for reducing tensions and returning to “objective issues,” referring to a debate in recent years in which the organization was accused of espionage by the German government.

DITIB announced Monday that in the board members’ meeting held on Jan. 4, it had elected a new board chairman and aimed to “appease the debate which has been continuing almost three years.”

In a press statement, the union said that for the last three years, it has faced excessive and partially-groundless criticism.

“The debate that divides the issue as ‘you’ and ‘us,’ and perceives Muslims as opposite and problematic not only hurts Muslims in Germany but also poisons the discussion and community culture that we have,” the statement said, adding: “There is an urgent need to reduce tension and return to objective issues.”

The debate over DITIB, which currently runs more than 900 mosques in Germany for the country’s nearly 5-million-strong Turkish community and other Muslim minority groups, reached its peak when the German government accused the organization of espionage in 2016.

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