Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told his German counterpart Wednesday that racism and xenophobia can only be defeated together and with determination.
He was responding to a post on Twitter by Foreign Minister Heiko Mass marking the anniversary of the shooting of Enver Simsek by the far-right terror group the National Socialist Underground (NSU).
“Enver Simsek was gunned down by neo-Nazis 20 years ago and died two days later. Many called it ‘kebab murders’ and him ‘the Turk.’ Let’s finally tell his story correctly: Enver Simsek was a family man and a florist. He was one of us.”
Cavusoglu said: “Dear Heiko, thank you for your empathy. But it is a fact that we haven’t come as far as we should have in the past 20 years. We can only defeat racism and xenophobia together and with determination. May God bless Mr. Simsek.”
Simsek, the first victim of the NSU in Germany, was shot eight times on Sept. 9, 2000 in the city of Nurnberg, where he sold flowers to support his family.
Six more men were murdered in the same way in a series of killings that continued until 2006. The crimes were referred to in the German media as “Kebab Murders,” as some of the victims worked in Turkish fast food restaurants.
*Writing by Burak Dag