The violent tendencies of Turkish nationalist group the Grey Wolves, or Ülkü Ocakları in Turkish, which considers violence as a “means to an end,” endangers internal security in Germany, Deutsche Welle Turkish service reported on Tuesday, citing a report by German intelligence.
The assessment was included in an analysis titled “Türkischer Rechtsextremismus in Deutschland” (Turkish right-wing extremism in Germany) that was recently published on the website of Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), the country’s domestic security agency.
According to DW, the report said right-wing extremism, which includes the Turkish Grey Wolves, represents one of the greatest threats to the free democratic order in Germany.
The “Ülkücü” ideology includes the core elements of right-wing extremist movements, such as exaggerated nationalism, racism and anti-Semitism, the report said, adding that its ideological spectrum ranges from nationalist Kemalism to the fringes of Islamism.
There are 11,000 people in Germany who are affiliated with the “Ülkücü” movement and its ideology, according to the report, and it’s common for them to have a strong affinity for weapons and like pictures of themselves in martial poses, which they spread on the internet. These self-portrayals with weapons or other threatening gestures are intended to express “strength, superiority and defensiveness,” the report said.
The report listed three “Ülkücü” associations in Germany with the highest number of members as the Federation of Turkish Democratic Nationalist Associations of Germany (ADÜTF) (7,000), the Turkish Islamic Cultural Association of Europe (ATİB) (1,200) and the Federation of World Order in Europe (ANF) (1,200).
BfV said the use of force had already been “justified” by “Ülkücü” masterminds such as writer Nihal Atsız and was still an “expressly affirmed as a means to an end.”
The security agency added that a group named “Bozkurtlar,” founded by Alparslan Türkeş, the founder of the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Grey Wolves – which is seen as the party’s paramilitary wing – committed more than 600 political murders between 1968 and 1980.
The report comes after Sinan Ateş, an academic and the former president of the Grey Wolves, was fatally shot in the capital city of Ankara on Dec .30.
Ateş, who served as the president of the Grey Wolves between 2019 and 2020, was directly dismissed by the leader of the MHP and has been the target of the group’s members on social media. He also drew a reaction from MHP members recently for taking a photo with figures from the nationalist opposition İYİ (Good) Party.
In 2020 France officially banned the Grey Wolves 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.
The German government has faced an intensified public campaign in favor of banning the Turkish nationalist group since then.
Earlier last year, the European Parliament called on the European Union and its member states to examine the possibility of adding the Grey Wolves to the EU terrorist list.
In its 2019-2020 report prepared by Turkey rapporteur Nacho Sanchez Amor, the EP voiced concerns about the group, saying it was expanding to worrying levels not only in Turkey but also in EU countries.