BERLIN: Germany’s Turkish community voiced concerns on Monday over the surge of attacks which targeted their mosques and cultural associations.
At least two mosques and a culture association were firebombed since Friday, after the PYD/PKK terrorist group threatened to carry out more violence against Turkish institutions in Germany.
Burhan Kesici, the head of the Islamic Council, underlined that unlike previous incidents of vandalism, mosques and associations were now being attacked by Molotov cocktails and firebombs.
“Attacks targeting mosques are becoming more violent,” Kesici told Anadolu Agency, and criticized German authorities for not taking a strong stance.
“We have not yet seen any response from the German government or the authorities,” he said.
The PYD/PKK’s youth organization announced recently that they will carry out more violent attacks against Turkish institutions and associations in Germany, to protest Turkey’s ongoing counter-terrorism operation in northwestern Syria.
The terrorist group claimed responsibility for the arson attack that targeted a mosque in Lauffen am Neckar on Friday and posted the video footage of the attack on the Internet. On Sunday, a Turkish mosque in Berlin was set alight by unknown assailants, who threw burning material at the building.
The PKK has been banned in Germany since 1993, but it remains active, with nearly 14,000 followers among the country’s Kurdish immigrant population.
Violence by the PYD/PKK sympathizers continued on Monday, by an arson attack targeting a Turkish culture association in Ahlen, a small town in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Turkey has long criticized Germany for not taking serious measures against the PKK, which uses the country as a platform for their fund-raising, recruitment, and propaganda activities.
Germany has a 3 million-strong Turkish community, many of whom are second- and third-generation German-born citizens of Turkish descent whose grandparents moved to the country during the 1960s.
Ankara launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 to clear terrorist groups from Afrin in northwestern Syria amid growing threats posed from the region to Turkey.
The Turkish General Staff has stressed that the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as protect Syrians from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists. The military also underlined that only terror targets are being destroyed and “utmost care” is being taken to not harm civilians. AA