Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu raised concerns over the escalation of Islamophobic incidents in Europe and said “the biggest threat for our continent of Europe is xenophobia,” at the opening ceremony of a new building for consular services in Düsseldorf, Germany.
Davutoglu said, “Certain movements that recently emerged throughout Europe, particularly Islamophobic incidents and attacks on mosques are developments that concerns all of us.”
Noting that essential values such as human dignity and a cultural environment where everyone’s own religion, sect or beliefs are respected are needed to sustain the future of the European continent, Davutoglu said, “the common threat that awaits us all is xenophobia and efforts to isolate people over their ethnic, religious or sect backgrounds.”
One of the far-right movements Davutoglu was referring to was the group known as Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (PEGIDA), which emerged in October 2014 in the German city of Dresden and quickly spread to other cities throughout Germany as well as other European cities. In the following months the group organised weekly rallies against minorities.
In the meantime, attacks on minority businesses and mosques have escalated in Germany and Europe, raising concerns among minorities living in Germany - especially Turks - that Nazi-style violence might return.
Nine shop owners, eight of them Turkish, were killed across Germany between the years of 2000 and 2006. Germany is yet to solve the murders, labeled as the “döner murders” by the German press.
Germany has a population of about 4 million Muslims, and among them two out of three is of Turkish origin.
In his speech, Davutoglu thanked Düsseldorf Mayor Thomas Geisel for “efforts to avoid such extremist actions from taking place and persistence to keep the multi-culturality of the city.”
Delivering good news for Turks living in Europe at a meeting with them in Dortmund on Sunday, Davutoglu relayed that the amount required to be paid to avoid compulsory military service which is required for all male Turkish citizens would be reduced to 1,000 Euros from 6,000 Euros.
“The passport fees that are 217 Euros would be brought down to 100 Euros. The time limit foreign cars can be allowed in Turkey would be increased to two years while the time limit imposed on unregistered phones brought from abroad would also be doubled,” Davutoglu also said.
He also pledged that the Turkish government will provide academic support and scholarships to students living abroad with Turkish citizenship.
“Processes for legal cases regarding inheritance and divorce would also become easier and efforts are underway with Germany to recognise legal decisions in both countries,” he added.