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Germany’s insufficient measures encourage racist attacks: expert

ISTANBUL

According to Haci Mehmet Boyraz, a lecturer at Medipol University in Istanbul, despite 31 years since the Solingen massacre, the German government has failed to take the necessary actions, which has led to continuous racist attacks.

An attack in northwest Germany in 1993 that killed five Turks and injured 14 was an act of racial terrorism, Boyraz told Anadolu in an interview about racist violence in Germany.

He emphasized that the “sounds” of the attack had been heard a few months earlier in northern Molln, where in November 1992 there was a racist attack that killed three Turks.

The German government failed to take appropriate and decisive action against these attacks.”

Boyraz criticized the insufficient penalties imposed by the German government for such attacks, which led to their persistence in the following years.

He noted that racist arson attacks occurred again in southern Germany in 2008, in Hanau in 2020 and again in Solingen and Dusseldorf in 2024, resulting in the death of Turkish citizens.

Stressing that racist attacks in Germany do not only target Turks, Boyraz said: “With the rise of the far right, many attacks are targeting foreigners deemed not to belong to this country. Hate speech and racist violence against people perceived as non-citizens are on the rise. -German.”

He emphasized that the German government did not take appropriate and decisive action against the attacks, which led to their continuation and expansion of the target base.

Boyraz criticized the lenient sentences given to the perpetrators of the Solingen attack. “Four neo-Nazis were arrested and sentenced to just 15 years in prison. They carried out an attack in 1993 and were free in 2008. This shows that the German government failed to fight neo-Nazi ideology and failed to provide meaningful legal consequences for such actions, he said.

“A serious neo-Nazi structure in the German police”

Boyraz called on Germany to take significant steps in the fight against neo-Nazism and racism, criticizing the government’s reluctance to address institutional racism.

He quoted former Chancellor Angela Merkel’s statement that “racism is a poison” in German society and pointed to systemic problems within the state.

He noted that the local government in Hesse had sought a 120-year confidentiality period for files related to the National Socialist Underground (NSU) case due to their political sensitivity, which was later reduced to 30 years following a public backlash. “This points to a cover-up and a problematic relationship between the state and racist structures,” Boyraz explained.

Noting that there is a significant neo-Nazi structure within Germany’s police and intelligence agencies, Boyraz said that in 2020, 29 police officers were accused of being neo-Nazi sympathizers.

Stressing the need for more stringent measures, he pushed for tougher penalties for racist offenders, increased funding and functionality for the anti-racist agency, and protection for mosques at a level similar to synagogues.

“If these steps are not taken, we will still be talking about racist acts in Germany,” Boyraz said.

* Text: Yasin Gungor

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