Mehmet Çelebi could be considered a model example of a German Muslim. The 33-year-old was born and raised in Frankfurt on Main. His parents had come to Germany from Turkey as refugees after the military coup in 1980. Çelebi studied in Australia and Frankfurt, completed a Master’s degree with distinction and began a successful career at the top levels of financial consultancy. Even at a young age, he was involved in the “Union of Turkish-Islamic Cultural Associations in Europe”, abbreviated to ATIB, as whose representative Çelebi sits on the board of the Central Council of Muslims. He aggressively advocates this association – and himself – against accusations regarding Islamic or Turkish right-wing radicalism.
“Our home is not Turkey, our home is Germany. That is that. We are part of Germany,” he explains in an interview with heise.de in 2020. “In 33 years, you would have to find some anti-Jewish, anti- Kurdish or anti-democratic statement from our officials. But you haven’t. Show me one racist sentence I’ve ever said or written, or something along those lines, and I’ll resign from all my posts immediately.”
Yesterday, the board of the Central Council published a statement that doesn’t quite fit in with all this. On Twitter, Çelebi equates Israel with the Nazi state, relativises the Holocaust and insults German society. These are sentences that actually speak for themselves. Çelebi has since deleted his revealing tweet.
It need not be mentioned that any equation of the Holocaust with Israeli policy is out of the question: It is factually wrong, historically infamous and part of the anti-Semitic basics.
At least the Central Council of German Muslims chairman Aiman Mazyek finds clear words: “A cooperation under my leadership with Mr. Çelebi is definitely over.” An upcoming election of the board will “provide clarity”.
Mr Çelebi could not be contacted by the online portal TE.