ATIB Union

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Turkish-Islamic Union for Cultural and Social Cooperation in Austria
Avusturya Türk İslam Kültür ve Sosyal Yardımlaşma Birliği
(ATIB Union)
purpose Coordination of the religious, social and cultural activities of the affiliated Turkish-Islamic mosque communities
Chair: Nihat Koca
Establishment date: 1990/1991
Number of members: over 60 clubs
with approx. 100,000 members
Seat : Vienna

The ATIB Union ( Turkish Avusturya Türkiye İslam Birliği , Turkish-Islamic Union in Austria ' ), often just ATIB and officially the “Turkish-Islamic Union for Cultural and Social Cooperation in Austria”, is a nationwide umbrella organization of over 60 independent Turkish associations around 100,000 members (as of 2017) for the coordination of the religious, social and cultural activities of the affiliated Turkish - Islamic mosque communities in Austria . The speaker is Selfet Yilmaz (as of April 2017).

The association is controversial due to various activities and the close connection with Turkey and is seen as Erdogan's extended arm in Europe.

Association based in Vienna - Favoriten (Sonnleithnergasse 20) was founded in 1990 and has been a registered association since September 7, 1991 , with some branches already operating in Austria, for example ATIB Landeck from 1987. ATIB Union, by far the largest Muslim Association of Austria, has been a member of the Islamic Faith Community in Austria (IGGiÖ) since 2011 and also provided Ibrahim Olgun as its president between 2016 and 2018.

The association represents the Sunni Islam of the Hanafi school of law and provides state imams and 9 pastors from Turkey to its mosque communities. Analogous to the Turkish-Islamic Union of the Institute for Religion (DİTİB) in Germany, the association is considered a foreign branch of the Turkish governmental religious authority Diyanet and is bound by the instructions of the Turkish embassy. The chairman of the ATIB Union is Nihat Koca.

The association has been running the company ATIB Union GmbH , based in Vienna-Favoriten, Sonnleithnergasse 20 , in equal shares with the association “Center for Social Support in Austria” since 2012. The company's purpose is funerals and gastronomy.

Dammstrasse cultural center

The main building of the ATIB cultural center Dammstrasse

After ATIB acquired the 1500 m² property of an old factory site at Dammstrasse 37 in the 20th district of Vienna in 1996, a prayer room, a dining room, a supermarket and other rooms were set up there. An expansion was forbidden by the SPÖ Brigittenau and its district management because of "over 1,000 expected visitors (...) an unacceptable burden for the residents (represents)". After eleven years, expansion plans were again submitted for a permit to create space for a kindergarten for thirty children, seminar rooms, two service apartments and event rooms. A citizens' initiative was then formed against these expansion plans. These expansion plans were then approved in 2008/9. The Greens and SOS Mitmensch wanted to ban a demonstration against this approval because of the “acute danger” of National Socialist re-engagement. Only after the children's war games were exposed in 2018 was the citizens' initiative rehabilitated by the media. At that time, however, the conversion or expansion by around 2.8 million euros had already taken place (in 2013). Among other things, a five-story building on the street side was erected.


ATIB has been criticized for years because of its proximity to the Turkish ruling party AKP and as “the Austrian arm of the Office for Religious Affairs of the Turkish government”. When the theory of evolution was deleted from the Turkish curriculum, ATIB initially criticized this decision, but immediately withdrew the criticism under pressure from Turkey.

The ATIB's prevention of integration is also criticized, since the association would encourage Muslims to enforce hard-line Islamic positions in schools, for example. From an afternoon school for Koran courses run by the association in Vienna-Brigittenau, pictures became public showing little girls at the age of nine with a headscarf.

In May 2018 it became known that a kindergarten operated by the “Education and Research Institute Nokta”, a sub-association of ATIB, had been teaching according to a Turkish nationalist and Islamist concept since 2009. Specifically, children were “taught Turkish values ​​and Turkish culture in an age-appropriate manner”. The educational concept of the kindergarten was known to the municipal department 11 (Office for Youth and Family) and was only changed in 2017 at their request.

War games

In April 2018 it became known that in March 2018 boys had to drill in camouflage uniforms in the Vienna ATIB mosque on Dammstrasse as part of a reenactment of the scenes from the Battle of Canakkale and that girls waved the Turkish flag. This was sharply criticized across all political camps and by the Islamic faith community. It later became known that at least in 2016, war games with children had already taken place. Photos show children who had to play dead soldiers and were covered with Turkish flags.

Similar events took place in mosques of the German sister association DITIB, which, like ATIB, is subordinate to the Turkish religious authority in Germany. In Herford on March 18, 2018, children in military uniforms had to exercise with toy guns in their hands, which was also documented in a video distributed via WhatsApp . Photos of such children's war games were also known from mosques in Mönchengladbach and Ulm.

Integration experts do not see any isolated cases in these activities that have become known and speak of an abundance of the same or similar events where children are instrumentalized for propaganda. Therefore the control of ATIB by the protection of the constitution is required. The Kultusamt investigates three points on suspicion of a violation of the Islamic Law : Violation of the “positive attitude towards society and the state”, because of the hindrance to the development of children and because of prohibited funding from abroad. As a possible consequence of the violations, consequences up to the dissolution of the association are possible.

ATIB as the Turkish intelligence service

The Austrian public prosecutor's office has been investigating the ATIB since the beginning of 2017 in accordance with Section 256 of the Criminal Code (secret intelligence service to the detriment of Austria). The background is the alleged spying of Gülen supporters, Kurds and Erdogan critics in Austria on behalf of the Turkish religious authority Diyanet. In this context, Peter Pilz submitted a letter from the Turkish religious attaché in Salzburg, which is said to have been sent to the Turkish religious authority Diyanet on behalf of the religious attaché of the Turkish embassy and ATIB President Fatih Mehmet Karadas. In the same way, it says that ATIB has researched suspicious people and taken measures to minimize their influence in Austria. The German sister organization DITIB is also being investigated on suspicion of espionage, and house searches were also carried out there in February 2017.

In June 2018, ATIB confirmed the government's suspicion that imams of the association were being illegally funded from abroad.

The secret intelligence activities of ATIB could also lead to the dissolution of the association.

Web links

Cultural center "Rappgasse" in Vienna-Floridsdorf

Individual evidence

  1. a b ORF-Online: Turkish umbrella association ATIB wants to reposition itself ; Retrieved April 4, 2017
  2. a b Federal Ministry of the Interior : Central Register of Associations (ZVR number 657301787)
  3. ^ Upper Austrian news: ATIB: Erdogan's extended arm in Austria . June 8, 2018 ( [accessed June 8, 2018]).
  4. a b c d e University of Vienna (Institute for Educational Science - Islamic Religious Education): Islamic Associations and Mosques in Austria ( Memento of the original from July 5, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. ; accessed on March 23, 2017 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. ^ Wiener Zeitung : The President and the pile of broken glass ; accessed on March 23, 2017
  6. ^ Die Presse : ATIB: Culture Association or Islamist Hort? ; accessed on March 23, 2017
  7. ^ Company ABC: ATIB Union GmbH ; Retrieved April 4, 2017
  8. Jana Kübel: "moscheeade or"; Dissertation, University of Vienna, 2008 ( PDF file )
  9. ^ Wiener Zeitung : Mosque expansion: Escalation threatens May 15, 2009; accessed on April 18, 2018
  10. Barbara Mader, Daniel Melcher: Imam suspended, critics see themselves confirmed . April 21, 2018 ( [accessed April 24, 2018]).
  11. Die Presse : Groundbreaking: Islamic Cultural Center is established ; accessed on April 19, 2018
  12. Stefan Kaltenbrunner: Interview: The new IGGiÖ president and the influence of the Turkish association Atib . June 20, 2016 ( [accessed April 18, 2018]).
  13. Bilal Baltaci: Muslim boss Olgun rejects the theory of evolution after protest . July 21, 2017 ( [accessed April 18, 2018]).
  14. Evelyn Peternel: When Papa gets the headscarf . April 6, 2018 ( [accessed April 18, 2018]).
  15. Karl Oberascher Johanna Kreid, Yvonne Widler: The Islamic shadow schools . March 3, 2017 ( [accessed April 18, 2018]).
  16. New allegations against a Atib kindergarten in Vienna . May 5, 2018 ( [accessed May 7, 2018]).
  17. Michaela Reibenwein, Stefanie Rachbauer: Atib Mosque in Vienna: Children had to exercise in uniform . April 17, 2018 ( [accessed April 17, 2018]).
  18. ^ Children exercised in camouflage uniforms in the Atib mosque in Vienna . In: The press . April 17, 2018 ( [accessed April 17, 2018]).
  19. Atib Mosque: Children had to pose as corpses . In: The press . April 18, 2018 ( [accessed April 18, 2018]).
  20. ^ WORLD: Herford: mosque lets children play war - summons from the mayor . In: THE WORLD . April 13, 2018 ( [accessed April 18, 2018]).
  21. DerWesten - Not an isolated case: children march in military uniform through the Ditib mosque . April 18, 2018 ( [accessed April 19, 2018]).
  22. Children in camouflage suits: "No isolated cases" . April 18, 2018 ( [accessed April 19, 2018]).
  23. Güngör: "ATIB is controlled by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution" . April 18, 2018 ( [accessed April 19, 2018]).
  24. ^ ATIB mosque: Kultusamt initiated proceedings . In: Neues Volksblatt . April 18, 2018 ( [accessed April 19, 2018]).  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  25. Marina Delcheva: Further investigations against mosque umbrella organization . In: Austria Politics - News - Wiener Zeitung Online . February 15, 2017 ( [accessed May 7, 2018]).
  26. ^ Tiroler Tageszeitung Online: Government measures: ATIB confirms foreign financing | Tiroler Tageszeitung online - news from now! In: Tiroler Tageszeitung Online . June 8, 2018 ( [accessed June 8, 2018]).
  27. Christian Böhmer: How Atib could still be dissolved . April 28, 2018 ( [accessed May 7, 2018]).