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Turkey's deputy FM: Islamophobia threatens Turkish citizens in Europe

Police cordon off streets in the Ehrenfeld area of the city and evacuated the complex of Cologne Central Mosque following a bomb threat, sent via e-mail, in Cologne, Germany on 9 July 2019. [Mesut Zeyrek - Anadolu Agency]
Police cordon off streets in the Ehrenfeld area of the city and evacuated the complex of Cologne Central Mosque following a bomb threat, sent via e-mail, in Cologne, Germany on 9 July 2019. [Mesut Zeyrek - Anadolu Agency]

Rising Islamophobia and xenophobia in Western Europe threatens the safety of Turkish citizens living there, the country’s deputy foreign minister said, Anadolu reports.

Yavuz Selim Kiran made the remarks during a session of parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee in Ankara on Thursday.

The minister urged to take the diplomatic route in addressing such concerns. “We should deal with this problem strategically,” he said.

Approximately, 5 million Turks live in European countries.

Last December, Germany’s integration minister had expressed similar concerns over Islamophobia, warning that it posed a “real danger” to social cohesion.

READ: ‘Europe to face new refugee exodus if Turkey ignored’ 

Presenting the annual government report on the state of integration in the capital Berlin, Annette Widmann-Mauz said: “Right-wing extremism, anti-Semitism, and hostility towards Muslims are a very real danger that we have to combat in a consequent and sustainable manner.”

Germany has witnessed growing anti-Muslim hate crimes in recent years sparked by hate propaganda by far-right parties.

In 2018, more than 100 mosques and religious institutions were attacked by far-right extremists.

Police recorded 813 hate crimes against Muslims last year, including verbal insults, threatening letters, and physical attacks which led to at least 54 Muslims being wounded.

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