Boxer in Germany receives death threat after criticising Turkish-Islamic organisation

A prominent Turkish boxer living in Germany has received a death threat after voicing criticism of the country’s Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DİTİB), Cumhuriyet newspaper reported on Sunday.

Ünsal Arık said an envelope containing a bullet was left in the window of his car, days after he told German media that DITIB, one of Germany’s largest Islamic organisations, was bringing politics into the country’s mosques.

The Islamic union, which was set up in 1984 as a branch of Turkey’s state-run Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), funds around 900 mosques in Germany and boasts a membership of around 800,000. The German government has accused DİTİB of spying for Turkey on German citizens.

“This week, I told German newspapers my views on DİTİB,’’ Arık told Cumhuriyet. “I told them that DİTİB’s mosques conduct more politics than religion and that (Turkish President Recep Tayyip) Erdoğan’s government intervenes in them.’’

“I am 100 percent positive that this was (done by) those who are pro-Erdoğan and (his ruling) Justice and Development Party (AKP),’’ he added.

In June, German television channel ZDF  released a documentary presenting evidence that Turkey’s National Intelligence Organisation (MİT) relies heavily on Turkish mosques operating under DİTİB’s umbrella.

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