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Erdogan condemns the Berlin mosque raid as racist

26.10.2020

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has described the police raid in a Berlin mosque as racist and Islamophobic because of suspected Corona aid fraud. «I strongly condemn the police operation carried out during the time of morning prayer in the (...) mosque in Berlin, which completely disregards freedom of belief and which is obviously nourished by racism and Islamophobia, which every day brings Europe closer to the darkness of the Middle Ages moves, »wrote Erdogan on Saturday night on Twitter.

All of Europe will implode because it is being torn apart by an «Islamophobia disease», said Erdogan later at a congress of his party AKP in Kayseri in central Anatolia on Saturday. In addition to the police raid on the Berlin mosque, he cited the measures taken by France's head of state Emmanuel Macron in the fight against radical Islamism as an example of what he saw as the growing Islamophobia in Europe.

In France, a week ago, the teacher Samuel Paty was killed by an 18-year-old with Russian-Chechen roots and then beheaded. Paty had shown caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed in class. In response, Macron got his compatriots into a long fight against radical Islamism.

On Wednesday, around 150 police officers searched several companies and a mosque in the German capital on suspicion of corona subsidy fraud. They confiscated 7,000 euros in cash, data storage media, computers and files. The raid involved three suspects who applied for grants of over 70,000 euros, of which 45,000 euros were paid, prosecutors said. Part of the money is said to have ended up in the mosque's account.

Erdogan stressed that Turkey would continue to fight against all forms of racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia all over the world. The Turkish Foreign Ministry had previously described the raid as "another example of the biased, discriminatory and disproportionate treatment of the Muslim community" in Germany. "German authorities must understand the fact that Muslims are an integral part of Germany and put an end to exclusion and marginalization," said the ministry on Thursday.

Fraud in connection with the emergency aid in the Corona crisis is not only a problem in Berlin. In the meantime, the Senate and the Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB) were criticized for having paid out the money too quickly and without adequate controls. The IBB and Finance Senator Matthias Kollatz always rejected this. (dpa)