France bans Turkish ultra-nationalist group of gray wolves | News | DW


The French government on Wednesday banned the Gray Wolves, a far-right nationalist group accused of violent actions and incitement to hatred in France. The ban was approved at a weekly cabinet meeting, according to government spokesman Gabriel Attal.

France accused the group of “extremely violent actions”, disseminating “extremely violent threats” and creating “incitement to hatred against the authorities and Armenians,” Attal said, citing an Armenian memorial near the eastern city. from Lyon who was found degraded last weekend. .

The 1915 Armenian Genocide Memorial had “Gray Wolf” and “RTE,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s initials written on it, along with pro-Turkish slogans.

Armenians have long campaigned for the massacres of their ancestors in the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to be recognized as genocide. France supports their call.

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Who are the gray wolves?

The Gray Wolf Group is linked to one of the Turkish President’s main allies and is seen as a militant wing of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which is allied with Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP). in the Turkish parliament.

Gray wolves were a nickname given to members of a fringe Turkish movement that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s.

The group used violence in the 1980s against left-wing activists and ethnic minorities.

France and Turkey line

Wednesday’s ban follows escalating tensions between Ankara and Paris over France’s fight against extremism.

Erdogan recently said that French President Emmanuel Macron needed “mental treatment” to defend the Prophet Muhammad cartoons.

France has cracked down on activists after schoolteacher Samuel Paty was beheaded for using cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad as well as what French police called a deadly Islamist attack on a church in Nice.

The tension between France and Turkey has also increased because of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Ankara supported its ally Baku in the fighting. The region is part of Azerbaijan but has been controlled by ethnic Armenian separatists since a war in the 1990s left 30,000 dead.

Read more: The French battle for freedom of expression: “Everything is a question of principle”

Turkey retaliates

In reaction to the ban on gray wolves, Ankara vowed to “respond in the strongest possible way.”

The Turkish Foreign Ministry has denied the very existence of the group, saying France “was dealing with an imaginary formation”.

In a statement, the ministry said the French government must “protect the freedom of assembly and expression of Turks in France”.

He accused the French government of ignoring “the incitement, threats and attacks” against the Turks in France.

The Foreign Ministry said the group’s ban showed that “the French government is now completely under Armenian influence.” He accused France of “double weight” and “hypocrisy” because he allows the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and other groups to be active in France.

Turkey considers the PKK to be a terrorist organization.

mvb / sms (AFP, AP, Reuters)


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