Nationalist Turks living in Germany have threatened to boycott a drugstore chain because one of its outlets is raising funds for the Kurdish community.
The local branch of “dm” in Troisdorft, near Cologne, is planning to hold what is known as a “cashier action” this Saturday, where local celebrities take to the checkouts and collect donations for good causes.
One of the celebrities will be journalist Rupert Neudeck, founder of refugee charity Cap Anamur, who has decided to give the money he raises to the group “Kurdish Community Rhein-Sieg/Bonn“.
That group is currently collecting funds for the people of the Sinjar Mountains in Iraq, where thousands of Kurds and Yazidis have been involved in fierce fighting against Islamic State.
However, nationalist Turks have accused “dm” of giving money to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which they regard terror group. According to tabloid Bild, they have now started a social media campaign to boycott dm stores, adopting the hashtag #dmunterstütztterror (dm supports terror).
One Twitter user complained that German weapons were being used to shoot Turkish soldiers, while another said he would never again set foot inside the store.
— Taner Tugan (@T_Tugan_) October 12, 2015
Ein Drogeriemarkt, der den Terror unterstützt! Das hat Deutschland auch gesehen! #dmunterstütztterror
— Besiktask (@Musty_oo3) October 11, 2015
The drugstore chain has now issued a statement, saying that the decision to give money to Kurdish Community Rhein-Sieg/Bonn was taken by Neudeck, not them. They added, however, that the group’s chairman, Musa Ataman, has been awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for offering migrants German lessons.
Despite the social media uproar, the store currently has no plans to call off the event due to security concerns.
The “dm” chain operates in 12 countries in Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans, and is well-known for supporting charitable causes. Its founder, Götz Werner, has said he prizes the wellbeing of staff above making a profit.