Christoph de Vries from Germany’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party – has supported the idea of banning the ultra-nationalist Turkish movement Gray Wolves, after France decided to ban the group that is seen as a militant wing of Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party, Der Spiegel reports.
“We should take the right reaction from France as an opportunity to ban the Gray Wolves as the largest right-wing extremist movement in Germany,” said de Vries, a Bundestag lawmaker from the CDU said.
The “agitation against all ethnic non-Turks such as Kurds and Armenians” represents a “considerable threat to our free and democratic order”, de Vries said.
“A ban on the Gray Wolves in Germany is long overdue,” said Hamburg CDU chairman Christoph Ploß.
The reaction from the CDU came after German opposition politicians, including Sevim Dagdelen from Left Party called for taking action against the organization and stand behind France’s decision.
Green MPs Cem Özdemir, Irene Mihalic and Konstantin von Notz too have demanded the federal government to ban the organization.
When banning the group, France accused them of “extremely violent actions,” spreading “extremely violent threats” and creating “incitement to hatred against authorities and Armenians,” government spokesperson Gabriel Attal said, citing an Armenian memorial near the eastern city of Lyon that was found defaced last weekend.
The 1915 Armenian genocide memorial had “Grey wolf” and “RTE,” the initials of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, written on it, as well as pro-Turkish slogans.
The Grey Wolves is a Turkish far-right organization and movement affiliated with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). Their members adhere to an extreme form of Turkish nationalism. It has been characterized as neo-fascist by scholars, mainstream media, and left-wing sources. A 1981 article in the New York Times described MHP and its satellite groups as a “xenophobic, fanatically nationalist, neofascist network steeped in violence.”
In the wake of Azerbaijan’s aggression against Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh), groups of Azeris living in and outside Azerbaijan have come to embrace the ideology of the Grey Wolves, also making the Gray Wolves sign with their fingers.