Turkey Decries Racism in Europe on Anniversary of Arson Attack in Germany

'We sadly observe that racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia are increasing, especially in Western Europe,' Turkish Foreign Ministry says

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during a graduation ceremony in Istanbul, Turkey, May 26, 2017.
MURAD SEZER/REUTERS

Twenty-four years after a deadly arson attack on the home of Turkish family in Germany, the Turkish government said Monday "the grief of the Turkish people is still fresh."

On May 29, 1993 four youths burned down a family's home in Solingen, western Germany, killing two women and three children. The Nazi-inspired attackers were sentenced to prison.

"We sadly observe that racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia are increasing, especially in Western Europe," a statement from the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.

"It is our hope that tragedies like the Solingen massacre will not occur again."

Relations between Germany and Turkey have fallen to a new low in recent months.

In March, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan compared the German government to the Nazi regime for banning Turkish ministers from holding campaign rallies for expatriate voters in Germany.

Earlier, Turkey was infuriated by a Bundestag vote that designated the mass killing of Armenians at the hands of the Ottomans a genocide. Turkey is the Ottoman Empire's successor state and disputes the designation.