A recent study drafted by a leading global Jewish advocacy organization has warned that the Grey Wolves, the far-right Ülkücü movement, which enjoys a well-organized structure in Turkey, pose a danger for minority groups in Germany, with more than 18,000 followers.
The Grey Wolves are seen as the militant wing of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), an ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), and their ideology is mainly based on Turkish nationalism. Therefore, Kurds and other minorities in Turkey have occasionally been their targets.
The study released on Tuesday by the Berlin office of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) argued that the Grey Wolves were dangerous for minority groups in Germany such as Jews, Kurds, Alevis and Armenians since their ideology is based on anti-Semitism, racism and hatred of minorities.
Titled “Türkischer Rechtsextremismus in Deutschland – Die Grauen Wölfe” (Turkish Right-wing Extremism in Germany – The Grey Wolves) and written by social scientist Kemal Bozay, the study said it had focused on the history, ideology and structure of the Grey Wolves with the aim of initiating a broader social debate on the group, urging the state and security authorities to ban associations linked to them in Germany.
In reference to the MHP’s influence in the Turkish government, Bozay stated that it wasn’t acceptable for Erdoğan’s administration to try to exploit people living in Germany, whether citizens or not, for their goals. The influence of the Turkish government in Germany can be ended, or at least limited, Bozay argued.
Remko Leemhuis, director of AJC Berlin, on Wednesday told Deutsche Welle Turkish edition that what inspired the study was the French government’s ban on the group in November, which was followed by a motion submitted to parliament by German parties seeking to ban groups linked to the Grey Wolves as well.
Leemhuis added that they hoped the study, which reveals attacks carried out by the Grey Wolves in both Turkey and Germany that may involve violence and result in killings, would create a change in the domestic and foreign policies of the German Federal Government.