Germany and Turkey promise to cooperate against hate after Hanau attack

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Berlin – Germany and Turkey, on Tuesday, reaffirmed their willingness to cooperate in a joint statement issued barely after a racism-fuelled attack in the town of Hanau that targeted several people of Turkish origin.

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According to the two countries Interior Ministers, Horst Seehofer and Suleyman Soylu, Germany and Turkey agreed that the seed of hate cannot be allowed to grow.

They added that close cooperation was the best way to prevent a confrontation between religions and world views.

“We want to intensively use all the channels set up for this.

“Peaceful co-existence requires mutual awareness and appreciation,’’ they said.
A 43-year-old German man shot dead nine people of foreign descent during the Feb. 19 attack in the centre of Hanau.

The suspect, however, identified only as Tobias R, then returned home and killed himself and his 72-year-old mother.

Investigators believed he had racist views and was mentally ill.

“We are calling for the fight against right-wing extremism and xenophobia to be pursued with determination.

“It is the third right-wing terrorist attack in Germany within a few months.

“With their crimes, the perpetrators also want to sow discord, nurture mutual prejudices and pit the entire communities against one another.

“We will not allow this,’’ they said.

The ministers acknowledged the level-headed response of the affected groups, in particular the Turks, and all the Germans of Turkish origin.

“It’s an encouraging sign of the fact that we will not let ourselves be divided by terrorism,’’ they said.

Meanwhile, a memorial service would be held in Hanau on Wednesday to honour those killed in the shooting spree.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Chancellor Angela Merkel are expected to attend.


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