German Jews cut ties with local Turkish group due to antisemitism

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan uses the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs to spy on dissidents, says Jens Meyer-Wellmann, deputy editor of the 'Hamburger Abendblatt' newspaper.

October 6, 2017 20:30
1 minute read.
Supporters listen to the speech by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan during a rally for the upcoming

Supporters listen to the speech by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan during a rally for the upcoming referendum in Istanbul, Turkey. (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


The Jewish community in the city of Mannheim broke off talks and exchanges with the Turkish Ditib religious association because its headquarters in Ankara spreads antisemitism, the Mannheimer Morgen newspaper reported.

Majid Khoshlessan, the chairman of the Jewish community, said it cut ties with the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (referred to in Germany as Ditib) because of “antisemitic statements” from Ditib’s central office in Ankara.

The small Jewish community (478 members) in the state of Baden-Württemberg agreed to end exchanges with the Ditib in a nearly unanimous resolution vote at its membership meeting. That means not accepting invitations from the Muslim group and not extending invitations to Ditib.

In 2015, The Jerusalem Post reported that the webpage of Ditib’s branch in Melsungen, in Hesse state, contained such quotes as: “The Jews are cruel and malicious,” “The Jews are stingy,” “[The Jews] lie and cheat,” “Jews violate contracts and promises,” and “They [the Jews] falsified the Torah.”

Jens Meyer-Wellmann, deputy editor of the Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper, blasted Ditib in his September commentary for its anti-Western and anti-Christian views. If Ditib does not expel the extremists from its ranks, cities should cease cooperation with the NGO, Meyer-Wellman wrote.

Burkhard Freier, the head of intelligence for the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, said on Thursday that the Turkish government uses Ditib to spy on alleged opponents of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government.

Ditib’s German headquarters in Cologne expressed “regret and dismay” over the Mannheim Jewish community’s decision, adding the NGO condemns antisemitism, and appealed to Khoshlessan to not “tear down bridges.”

The Bild mass circulation newspaper reported on Thursday that the German government slashed its funding of Ditib by 80%.

In 2017, Ditib received €1.5 million from the federal government. It will receive €297,500 for 2018.

Related Content

June 18, 2019
Malaysian PM at Cambridge: My Jewish friends are not like other Jews


Cookie Settings