Exactly how many mosque buildings, and how many mosque associations, are there in Germany? No one in the country knows for sure.
Ever since the opening of a Turkish state-financed mosque in Cologne, Islamic houses of prayer have been a frequent topic of discussion in Germany. In a country and city with a large Turkish minority, many people see the public presence of these buildings in Cologne as a display of power by the Turkish state.
There are only estimates of how many mosques, houses of worship, and mosque associations there are in Germany. This has, according to Islam scholar Michael Blume, a simple, legal reason behind it. "According to the German constitution, there is no registration requirement for religious associations," he said. "That means: As long as a religious community or religious association isn't a public body, it isn't registered."