Turkish expat in Germany attacked for links to Gülen in apparent hate crime
A Turk who has resided in Germany for 41 years was attacked in an apparent hate crime by the Turkish owner of a kebab shop in Kamen, North Rhine-Westphalia, because of his links to the Gülen movement, reported Turkish Minute.
According to Kronos, Ramazan Yılmazer, 59, was physically assaulted by Rıfat Yılmaz, the owner of Özay’s Kebab Haus in Kamen, where he went to dinner with his daughter and son-in-law more than a year after the last time. ate there.
Yılmazer told Kronos that upon entering the store, he asked Yılmaz about its owner, whom he had known for years, and discovered that Yılmaz had recently taken over the store. He then asked her about an employee named Yetiş, and Yılmaz replied, “I fired them all, I can’t work with guys like that. The man was a member of FETÖ, he’s a terrorist, you know.
FETÖ is a pejorative term used by the Turkish government to refer to the Gülen movement, a faith-based group inspired by Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, as a terrorist organization.
Yılmazer continued, “I said to him, ‘I don’t know you, but I’ve known these people for 30 years. Did they use violence against you? Did they participate in armed acts? how can you talk [about them] like that?’ Then he replied, ‘So you’re one of them,’ [and] he started to swear. He got really aggressive.
Leaving the store, Yılmazer also told the attacker, “You can’t call people terrorists. We all live in Europe. Terrorism has a definition. Besides, I’m a customer. I came here to buy a kebab, not to listen to insults.
According to Kronos, Yılmaz then started insulting his family, came out from behind the counter and attacked Yılmazer, who had some of his front teeth knocked out as a result of the assault.
When the police arrived, Yılmaz complained to them about Yılmazer, saying he was afraid of him because he was a terrorist, but the police paid no attention to his claims, Kronos said. , citing Yılmazer.
After filing a police report, Yılmazer also went to the hospital to get a medical report, where he was advised to leave immediately as Yılmaz has a big family that no one wanted to mess with.
“[But] I am not the culprit. I am not the aggressor. Germany is a rule of law. I will assert my rights in court,” Yılmaz said.
Claiming he was assaulted by racists in Germany in 1996 and now being targeted by supporters of Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, Yılmaz described his ties to the Gülen movement as follows: “I am only a carrier [by profession]. I am not responsible for any association or foundation [affiliated with the movement]. I support [Gülenists’] educational and cultural activities on a voluntary basis.
The Gülen movement is a global citizens’ initiative rooted in the spiritual and humanistic tradition of Islam. The foundations of the movement are various service projects initiated, funded and carried out by people motivated by Gülen’s humanitarian discourse.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been targeting supporters of the movement since corruption investigations from December 17 to 25, 2013, involving then-Prime Minister Erdoğan, his family members and those around him.
Dismissing the investigations as a Gülenist coup and a plot against his government, Erdoğan branded the movement a terrorist organization and began targeting its members. He locked up thousands of people, including many prosecutors, judges and police involved in the investigation.
Erdoğan intensified the crackdown on the movement following a coup attempt on July 15, 2016, which he accused Gülen of orchestrating. Gülen and the movement strongly deny any involvement in the failed putsch or any terrorist activity.
The movement’s supporters have been the target of hate speech, hate crimes, unlawful prosecution, torture and kidnapping, among other serious human rights violations.