Germany’s largest Islamic organization DITIB elected its new board of directors on Friday as government pressure mounts to force it to cut ties with homeland Turkey. The new president of DITIB, Kazim Turkmen, is recently-appointed religious advisor of Turkish government at Berlin consulate. Turkmen reportedly resigned from his post in order to become the president of DITIB.
Founded in 1984, DITIB operates more than 900 mosques thorough out Germany and average of 1 million people annually attend prayers at DITIB mosques. DITIB has 79 delegates whom elects the board members for two-year periods.
The Turkish-German organization has been facing immense pressure from German Federal and local governments to completely cut ties with Turkey.
The delegates gathered on Friday to elect the board of directors. Kazim Turkmen was elected as the head of the board as Ahmet Dilek kept his position as a deputy head of DITIB. Despite German government pressure, DITIB delegates elected another president whom was employed by Turkish government.
DITIB’s imams faced spying charges of German government last year. The accusations were dropped later by the prosecution due to lack of evidence to support the Orwellian-charges.
Georgetown professor and Islamophobia expert Fared Hafez recently gave an interview to Diaspora Daily in which he said it was perfectly normal for DITIB to maintain ties with Turkey.