German politicians from both sides of the aisle want to ban the salute of the Grey Wolves, a Turkish ultranationalist organization known for its violent behavior and for promoting fascism, according to a report by Deutsche Welle (DW) on Tuesday.
The report said German politicians plan legislation to ban the symbols and gestures of the far-right Grey Wolves, specifically, the “wolf” hand salute that lawmakers say is reminiscent of the Nazi salute.
“Any form of fascism is inhuman and a threat to our liberal society,” said Christian Democrat (CDU) politician Christoph de Vries to the German Bild daily.
In a rare moment of agreement with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right CDU, the Left party also expressed a desire to ban the group’s most obvious trappings. “The greeting of the Gray Wolves, one of the largest right-wing extremist and anti-constitutional organizations in Germany, is quite comparable to the Hitler salute and should, therefore, be banned,” Left party lawmaker Sevim Dağdelen also told Bild.
The government of Austria is also working on a ban of the Grey Wolves’ salute.
The gesture caused controversy last year when Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu used it while visiting Turkey’s consulate in Hamburg.
The Grey Wolves rose to prominence as part of political violence in 1970s Turkey. They have been behind a number of massacres and killings both inside and outside Turkey’s borders, as well as the 1981 assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II.