Germany seeks to ban Turkish ‘Gray Wolves’ far-right symbols

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Turkish nationalist protesters flash the nationalist organization's "grey wolf" sign and hold placards during a protest against Germany on June 2, 2016 in front of the Germany consulate in Istanbul after German parliament labelled the World War I massacre of Armenians by Ottoman forces as genocide. AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE

German politicians said on Tuesday that they would draft legislation to ban the symbols and gestures of ultranationalist Turkish organization the Gray Wolves, specifically, the “wolf” hand salute that lawmakers say is reminiscent of the Nazi salute, Deutsche Welle has reported.

“Any form of fascism is inhuman and a threat to our liberal society,” Christian Democrat (CDU) politician Christoph de Vries told the German Bild daily.

In a rare moment of agreement with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right CDU, the Left party also expressed a desire to ban the group’s most obvious trappings.

“The greeting of the Gray Wolves, one of the largest right-wing extremist and anti-constitutional organizations in Germany, is quite comparable to the Hitler salute and should therefore be banned,” Left party lawmaker Sevim Dağdelen also told Bild.

The government of Austria is also working on a ban of the Grey Wolves salute.

The gesture caused controversy last year when Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu used it while visiting Turkey’s consulate in Hamburg.

The Gray Wolves gained notoriety as part of political violence in 1970s Turkey. They have been behind a number of massacres and killings both inside and outside Turkey’s borders as well as the 1981 assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II.

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