Islamophobic And Xenophobic Attacks Against Turkish People In Europe
Under the conditions of the “war on terror”, the global economic crisis and the refugee crisis, stereotypes against Muslims have gained momentum across Europe. Anti-Muslim rhetoric, used by not only right-wing extremists but also the mainstream media and politicians, often associates Muslims with terrorism and extremism, or portrays the presence of Muslim communities as a threat to national identity. As a result, the anti-Muslim hate incidents such as attacks against mosques, community centres and Muslim families’ homes, as well as violent attacks against Muslims, particularly against women wearing headscarves, have broken out in Europe.
In 2017, the number of racist and Islamophobic attacks reported by our citizens to the Turkish Foreign Missions in the EU countries was 90, including attacks against 38 mosques, 34 Turkish citizens, 12 Turkish Foreign Missions, 4 Turkish NGOs and 2 business places.
Only in January 2018, 12 attacks against our citizens were committed by xenophobes across Europe.
For the first 2 and a half months of 2018, the number of violent attacks against Turks and Muslims in Europe was 46 and the number of attacks against mosques was 22.
In 2017, 950 Islamophobic attacks were reported only in Germany.
However, it should be kept in mind that these numbers reflect only the reported incidents. As stated in the Second European Union Minorities and Discrimination Survey of European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, in nine out of 10 cases (91 %), victims do not report the incident of biasmotivated harassment to the police or other organisation.
Attacks Committed By PKK/PYD
Between January 20 and March 12, 2018 following the start of Olive Branch Operation of Turkey, embers of terrorist organization PKK/PYD in Europe committed 37 attacks against our citizens and roperties including 16 mosques, 12 Turkish citizens, 4 NGOs, 3 Turkish foreign missions, 1 business place.
However, recent terrorist attacks of PKK/PYD in Europe were not limited to Turkish targets, but also include attacks against:
• 14 offices of political parties (esp. SPD and CDU), 12 companies, 5 vehicles, 4 banks, 2 NGO’s, 3
police units, and 1 attack on the house of a NATOLobbyist in Germany, 3 German consulates/embassies,
• 2 companies, 1 bank, 1 warplane in Italy
• 1 vehicle in France
• Italian-Greek Chamber of Commerce in Greece
Legal Arrangements And Implementations Violating Religious And Cultural Rights Of Turkish Citizens In Europe
While the media’s discourse encourages anti-Islamic tendencies in Europe, central and leftist parties using similar discriminatory and anti-Turkey discourses in their election campaigns are not only strengthening extreme right-wing movements like Pegida, but also allows the banality of evil. Especially the discussions about Turkey during the election campaigns merged the already existing anti-Muslim sentiments with anti-Turkey sentiments.
This situation makes the 6.5 million Turkish community in Europe the primary target of extreme right-wing discourses and actions, as it was shown on previous pages.
The legal reflections of the discriminatory and anti-Muslim attitudes in some European Parliaments and governments are as follows:
· Some Turkish NGOs and mosques are subject to discriminative implementations.
· Wearing headscarf is forbidden for judges and prosecutors in some states.
· In some states such as Berlin and Schleswig- Holstein, for Turkish Language and Turkish Culture lessons, some district administrations started to claim rental fee for classrooms, although it was free of charge previously.
The Law on Islam revised in 2015 was criticised as discriminatory, anti-constitutional, and authoritarian towards the Muslims. The law contains many restrictions for Muslim communities, which are not imposed on any other religious groups, such as:
· Ban on foreign funding of Muslim NGOs and mosques or imams working in Austria, to restrict the religious and cultural services of Muslim organizations and not to issue imams from Turkey with visa.
· Governmental right to recognize or abolishment of legal status of Muslim communities
· Cancellation of religious events for security reasons
· Gathering Muslim NGOs and mosques under an official umbrella organization
· Ban on halal methods of slaughtering animals was approved by both Wallonia and Flemish Parliaments.
· In Wallonia region, Muslim organizations are obliged to register legally, to have French speaking imams, to issue a written commitment to the constitution and not to receive foreign funding.
· Since 2013 wearing headscarf in schools has been forbidden in Belgium.
The government approved
· a ban on foreign funding of Muslim NGOs, and
· the cancellation of residence permits and social security payments of ‘non-integrated’ migrants.