Breaking: Turkey urges action against racism on anniv. of Hanau attacks
Turkey has called on Europe to take action against racism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia, as the country is set to mark one year since terrorist attacks in Germany’s western city of Hanau.
“The ruthless attack in Hanau has shown that racism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia need to be addressed in a much more effective and serious manner and it is about time to enhance international cooperation in this regard,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in a statement on Friday.
He said Turkey expected Germany to finalize the investigation into the Hanau attacks in a fair and speedy manner.
Cavusoglu urged all European countries to embrace the principles of peaceful coexistence and not remain silent in the face of xenophobia, Islamophobia, and racism.
“Turkey is ready to display international and bilateral cooperation against all types of racism and xenophobia,” he said.
He said authorities needed to refrain from the far-right and populist political rhetoric that boosts xenophobia, Islamophobia, and racism in Europe.
In February last year, two shootings targeted locations in Hanau, about 20 km from Frankfurt, leaving at least nine people dead and five others injured.
The victims were young members of Germany’s minority Turkish community who had been targeted by rising Islamophobia inside the country.
In the wake of the attacks, Muslim groups demanded that the German government offer their community more protection. They have faced a growing threat from far-right groups in recent years.
Even as a year has passed since the attacks rocked Germany, the Turkish community still lives in fear.
“These attacks need to end now,” Cavusoglu said. “Otherwise, this sick mentality will not only pose a threat to foreigners and Muslims but everyone.”
The Turkish foreign minister said that politicians had a tremendous responsibility to make sure that populist, racist, and anti-migrant rhetoric does not take European politics hostage.
This comes as Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Yavuz Selim Kıran is set to attend a ceremony in Hanau to express solidarity with the victims of the attacks last year.
The event is limited to 50 participants due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will also be present at the event.