According to German newspaper Zeit, the hate aimed at Seyran Ates for establishing a liberal mosque where men and women of every Islamic denomination can pray was so intense, she has since received around the clock, close police protection. The number of death threats is so high, that the Berlin police thought this kind of exceptional protection to be necessary.
By her own account, Ates received at least 100 death threats, with those on Social Media detailing the way she should meet her end. In addition, she was threatened in public multiple times. And it is not her first meeting with this kind of threats: when working at a Turkish women’s counselling centre in the Berlin district of Kreuzberg in 1984, she was the victim of an assassination attempt. Then she received life-threatening injuries.
Reports are also coming in through Die Welt, that Turkish President Erdogan, arriving in the German city of Hamburg for the G20-Summit shortly, has urged Ates to close her mosque. A corresponding demand is said to have been sent to the German government. Although the Ministery of Foreign Affairs denies having received any such demand, Ates confirms Erdogan’s involvement, commenting:
“It just goes to show again what sort of childlike state of mind Erdogan is in, he has never understood democracy, or refuses to understand. Erdogan does not uphold personal liberties.“