A French controversy over funding a mosque built by a pro-Turkish association

There was a dispute between the French interior minister Gerald Darmanan and the Strasbourg mayor Jean Parsigian because Parsigian had made a financial contribution of two and a half million euros for the pro-Turkish association “Milli Gorsuch”.

The minister accused the mayor of funding Foreign intervention on French territoryParsigian said that she donated the money to the association, which plans to build a mosque in a working-class area of ​​the city.

She added that her community’s material contribution did not exceed ten percent of the Milli Görüş Association’s total value for the construction of the mosque.

The interior minister warns that Turkey is making strong attempts to meddle in French affairs.

Franco-Turkish relations have deteriorated since the Ankara attack in October 2019 on the Kurdish armed forces in Syria, allied with the West.

According to observers, Turkey’s expansionist policies in both Libya and the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as France’s policies to combat Islamic extremism, have fueled the Paris-Ankara rift in recent months.

On Monday, the Strasbourg city council agreed “in principle to grant a financial grant” of more than 2.5 million euros to help build a mosque built by the pro-Turkish “Milli Görüş” Islamic Association in a joint venture shall be. Class district of the city.

On Wednesday the Minister of the Interior said: “I had the opportunity to tell the Mayor of Strasbourg (…) that at least we do not find this matter in line with French interests.” – The Turkish Association did not want to sign the Charter of Values ​​of the Republic. “

“We believe that this association can no longer be part of the bodies representing Islam in France,” added Darmanan.

Darmanan’s statement came a day after the French president issued a televised statement warning of attempts by Turkey to interfere in the French presidential election slated for 2022.

Emmanuel Macron has raised concerns that Turkey might try to influence the upcoming French elections. During an interview with France 5, he said: “The threats and risks are there so I think we need to be very clear on this issue.”

However, the French president did not provide details, nor did he explain how Turkey might interfere in the elections, or whether he was referring to the June elections, the 2022 presidential election, or both. Rather, he said “Turkey will manipulate public opinion,” which likely indicates the possibility of its influence through its control over parts of the Turkish diaspora through schools, mosques and other organizations funded in France.

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