Ultra-right Turks in Germany fake social media accounts to threaten Kurds

MAINZ, Germany (Rudaw) – Far right Turks in Germany are using fake social media accounts to attack Kurds and others, according to some victims whose names or accounts were hijacked or who received hate messages.

“Just a few weeks ago I saw a profile on Facebook with my picture on it. I checked the profile and saw that it likes anti-Kurdish pages and sites,“ said Arian Mirzan, a Yezidi Kurd who lives in northern Germany. “The fake account wrote on several pages things like ‘Yezidis are not Kurds’ or ‘Shingal does not belong to fake Kurdistan,’” Mirzan said.

“I think there are Turks behind these fake accounts — they want to divide us Kurds,“ the 24-year old mechanic added. “Many Muslim Kurds nowadays think that we Yezidis don’t see ourselves as Kurds, but we do. We speak Kurdish, we live the Kurdish culture, we are Kurds.”

Another way that ultra-nationalists are spreading their hate is by creating new profiles. They use the symbol of a grey wolf, the insignia of the Turkish far right Grey Wolves, and use the accounts to threaten Kurds and others.

“Just a few days ago two or three such fake accounts messaged me, saying that they will kill all Greeks and take back what belongs to them,“ said Medea Laskari, a Greek Cypriot studying in Germany.

“They also signed their messages with the ‘cCc’ abbreviation, a symbol of the Grey Wolves. I don’t even know why they are texting me, I am not involved in any political movement at all. A Kurdish friend of mine received the same messages. But the Turkish accounts are now offline.”

The attacks have also targeted politicians like German liberal Tobias Huch. In recent messages, he was threatened with being chased down and killed.

“The aim of the Kurd-haters is to shut me up – if necessary by all means and all consequences. Therefore, they forged and faked a lot of chat histories, which are being published at irregular intervals on various sites,” said Huch, who supports Kurds in their cause for independence.

“Freedom of speech is of high value,” said German Justice Minister Heiko Maas, demanding tighter controls of social media sites. “The Internet is not a legal vacuum in which racist incitement and criminal manifestations may be spread uncontrolled,” he added.

Last week German retailer DM cancelled a fundraiser for the Kurdish committee Rhein-Sieg/Bonn in Germany, after thousands of Turks threatened to boycott the stores and attack its employees. They forged a link between the Kurdistan Workers‘ Party (PKK), a banned organization in Germany, and the Kurdish community, to stop the fundraiser.

“I think the attacks on the Kurdish Community Rhein-Sieg/Bonn were also initiated by those racists,“ said Kurdish Kawa Germiyani, who lives in Germany. “ saw on Facebook many profiles linking the Kurdish organization with the PKK, just to denounce them. But the organization has nothing to do with any organization in Kurdistan.”

On Monday, the general attorney of the German city-state Hamburg announced that an investigation against Facebook officials in Germany is underway.

Three managers of the world’s largest social media company are suspected of sedition, because Facebook refuses to delete hate-comments and racist posts.

By Polla Germainy