German Left Party MP Helin Evrim Sommer has called for a ban on the Grey Wolves, the far-right Ülkücü movement that enjoys a well-organized structure in Turkey and has more than 18,000 followers in Germany, based on a recent parliament report that states the group has “anti-constitutional goals,” Deutsche Welle Turkish (DW) service reported on Thursday, citing the Tagesspiegel daily.
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.
An expert report prepared by the Scientific Service of the Bundestag recently stated that the Grey Wolves “want to achieve anti-constitutional goals in a combative and aggressive manner,” an accusation enough to impose a ban on an organization in Germany, when it’s legally proven, DW said.
“The purpose or an activity of an association causing serious and permanent harm to international dialogue” was listed in the report as another reason for a ban, DW said, quoting Sommer as saying that that was actually the case with the far-right Ülkücü movement.
Reminding that several Islamist associations in the country were previously banned for such reasons, the MP added that the federal government should end its ostrich policy towards organized Turkish right-wing extremism in Germany.
According to DW, Sommer also underlined that Interior Minister Horst Seehofer shouldn’t ignore the vote of the Bundestag, which in November 2020 passed a motion calling for the Grey Wolves to be banned.
The motion demanded action to prevent and suppress the spread of the Grey Wolves movement in Europe, with the German government keeping track of its activities, prohibiting affiliated associations and opposing online propaganda regarding the goals of the movement.
The Bundestag vote followed France’s move to officially outlaw the group after a center dedicated to the memory of those who died in the mass killings of Armenians during World War I was defaced with graffiti, including the name of the Grey Wolves.
“We must immediately issue a prohibition order against the most important umbrella organizations of the Grey Wolves in Germany,” DW quoted the MP as saying, in reference to the Union of Turkish-Islamic Cultural Associations in Europe (ATIB) and the European Turk Union (ATB).
The study released in April by the Berlin office of the American Jewish Committee (AJC), a leading global Jewish advocacy organization, 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.
The study, which revealed attacks carried out by the Grey Wolves in both Turkey and Germany that may have involved violence and resulted in killings, aimed to create a change in the domestic and foreign policies of the German Federal Government.