Head of Gülen-linked foundation denies any ties to controversial mosque project in Berlin

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Ercan Karakoyun, director of the Foundation for Dialogue and Education, an organization affiliated with the Gülen movement in Germany, has denied a recent report in the pro-government Star daily that claimed the Gülen movement was behind a controversial mosque project in Berlin.

The daily said the Gülen movement was behind a mosque project in Berlin that was actually launched by Seyran Ateş, a German lawyer and Muslim feminist born in İstanbul.

“Neither the Foundation [for Dialogue and Education] nor the Hizmet [Gülen] movement have anything to do with Seyran Ateş’s controversial mosque project. This project does not comply with our understanding of Islam and mosques,” wrote Karakoyun from his Twitter account on Monday.

The Ibn Ruschd-Goethe Mosque founded by Ateş is the first liberal mosque in Berlin. Burqa and niqab are banned in the mosque, and it is open to Sunni, Shia and other Muslims. Both men and women pray together in the mosque, and women are not required to wear a headscarf. It is the first mosque of its kind in Germany and one of the first in Europe and the entire world.

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