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According to Daily Mail, the Cologne town center has been declared a No-Go Zone for women.

Cologne town centre has been called a 'no-go area' by its own city council.

Are there any statements from the city council that substantiates this claim?


There are similar claims from other blogs and editorial websites:

  • Now The End Begins1

    Germany Finally Admits Muslim Migrant 'No-Go' Zone Problem In Cologne

  • Independent2

    The German city of Cologne has been branded a “no-go zone” for women by the 18-year-old victim of sex attack carried out by up to 30 men.

  • Jihad Watch3

    German police have admitted to losing several urban areas to migrant gangs as so-called no-go zones, but this is possibly the first time a public square in the centre of a European city has been acknowledged by officials as having been lost to criminality, and out of the control of police at night.

  • Breitbart4

    The latest admission of the developing problem of no-go zones in Europe comes from state police in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), a west German state that borders Belgium and the Netherlands.

1This site is extremely religious in nature and intertwines current events with events in the 'gospel.'
2A *minor publication within the UK and is regarded as an extremely politically influenced publication. Getting news without 'extreme' political spin is very rare. *Minor being used loosely to humorously point to it's political lean (credit: Konrad Randolph).
3This site is basically a blog by Robert Spencer. Having to do with all things Muslim, it has a very apparent religious bias.
4This news site is regarded as extremely politically influenced. Getting news without 'extreme' political spin is very rare.

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    Source 2 says it was branded a no-go zone by the victim. Most of the sources in fact talk about an "unofficial" no-go zone which is unsafe due to lack of police authority (which is always a subjective opinion), not an official one enacted by the government. – Philipp Jan 9 '16 at 15:38
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    Calling the “Independent” a “minor” publication is hilarious. It’s also generally vaguely left-leaning (though this term has become almost meaningless in modern UK politics). That said, I otherwise agree with your characterisation of its contents. It’s a rag. – Konrad Rudolph Jan 11 '16 at 10:28
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    Independent used to be a liberal broadsheet, it amassed readers by changing to tabloid and increasing the amount of opinion and contention attatched to it's stories, at the cost of intellectual articles, and finally it became a website with a margin full of soubdybtes, humour, sex and nonsense used as hidden adverts. – com.prehensible Jan 12 '16 at 7:03
  • @ufomorace - presumably you meant "soundbytes", not "soubdybtes"? – Max Vernon Jan 13 '16 at 15:10
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No, the statement in that form does not appear to be true. There has been no official statement by the city council that I could find, and the city council had its last meeting before the events. Its next scheduled meeting won't be before February.

Judith Wolter - a member of the right-wing extremist, racist, and nationalist Bürgerbewegung pro Köln[*] and a member of the city council - did write an open letter which was published at the pro koeln website, in which she called the area around the train station at new years eve a no-go-area for women. This is probably what is meant, but she does not speak for the whole city council, and she limited the phrase no-go area to that specific place and time.

Other people have been using the phrase no-go-area as well, such as the president of the police union of the state Arnold Plickert, or the president of the CDU of the state Armin Laschet, both of which said that they would not tolerate no-go-areas.

[*]
sources:
- 'die rechtsextremistische Partei "pro Köln"' [english: 'the right-wing extremist party "pro Köln"']
- 'die Inhalte sind geprägt von teils verklausuliertem, teils offenem Rassismus' [english: 'The positions are characterized by partly coded, partly open racism']
- 'Im Verfassungsschutzbericht [...] wurde die Partei als nationalistisch, rassistisch und völkisch-kollektivistisch eingestuft.' [english: 'The domestic intelligence service considers them to be nationalist, racist, and völkisch-collectivist']
-'The [NRW] domestic intelligence service [...] has observed the grouping [...] for the suspicion of right-wing extremist aspirations. [...] Since 2011 the intelligence service has stated that the indications for anti-constitutional aspirations went beyond the scope of mere suspicion. [...] the movement violates the human rights as specified in the German constitution'

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    Good answer. When you Google "Judith Wolter" you can find additional sources making a news story of this. usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/01/08/… – Avery Jan 9 '16 at 15:57
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    I think this answer is good because it addresses the grain of truth in the claim. – Andrew Grimm Jan 10 '16 at 11:10
  • It's certainly not true (not just "appears to be"). If any such thing had been said, it would be #1 on TV, and it is not. Also, you would have a civil-war like condition with right ultras killing anyone with a somewhat dark skin (which we are not far from happening, however). – Damon Jan 10 '16 at 17:51
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    far-right, racist, and nationalist can you provide a reference for that? It may be an accurate description but it sounds like a biased opinion in the answer. Also a reference that she was not speaking for the city council when she made the statement. If so then i agree this would be a good answer – Chad Jan 11 '16 at 19:20
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    @Chad I already provided a link in the comments, and you linked to the wikipedia page in my answer, which links to plenty of reliable sources. Here is another one. Please do not edit my answer again (feel free to create a new question regarding the political orientation of pro koeln, but I don't think that the discussion here will lead anywhere). – tim Jan 13 '16 at 21:33
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Proving a negative is hard, but if such a statement would have made, it shouldn't be hard to find an official statement about this. After all, declaring "no-go areas" only make sense when people know they exist.

Let's check the website of the cologne city government. There is a press release which does of course address this issue. It criticizes the police of Cologne quite harshly and demands a better cooperation between police and city, but does not demand any specific actions like enacting a no-go area.

Another press release by Mayor Henriette Reker demands more security and better equipment. Among the demands are:

  • More must be done to improve the security in the city
  • Better technical equipment is required
  • Police should self-evaluate what mistakes they made and take consequences
  • More money and personnel from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for the police of Cologne (in Germany, the police is managed by the federal states)
  • Better prevention work

But another thing it mentions explicitly which deserves a verbatim translation:

Durch die verkürzte Darstellung in einzelnen Medien ist teilweise der Eindruck entstanden, meine Präventionsinitiativen würden sich ausschließlich auf Verhaltenstipps für Frauen und Mädchen beschränken. Davon kann überhaupt keine Rede sein. Vielmehr habe ich auf eine gezielte Nachfrage einer Journalistin versucht, auf die bereits in Köln seit Jahren vorhandene Präventions- und Beratungsangebote hinzuweisen. [...]

Ich sage es noch einmal, Verhaltenstipps können aber nur nachrangig sein. Vorrang hat, dass die Sicherheit auf unseren Straßen und Plätzen konkret hergestellt wird.

There is also an English press release which translates this section:

The condensed statement presented in some media created the impression that my prevention initiatives were restricted exclusively to a code of conduct for women and girls. Nothing could be further from the truth. On the contrary, in response to a specific question asked by a journalist, I tried to refer to a range of prevention and counselling services that have been in place in Cologne for a number of years. [...]

I repeat: a code of conduct can only be of subordinate importance. Establishing security on our streets and in public areas has absolute priority.

So no, the presentation by the media outlets mentioned in the question that the city of Cologne would want to fight the issue by sanctioning victims instead of perpetrators has nothing to do with reality. The actual reaction by the city government is to improve security in order to allow anyone to safely move through the city without being afraid of sexualized violence.

  • It is amazing how much the media lies to us. – Ruut Jan 9 '16 at 15:32
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    @Ruut then you might want to reconsider what media you consume. The daily mail has quite a reputation for twisting the news to improve sales. – Philipp Jan 9 '16 at 15:43
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    A mayor wishing "To clarify recent comments" (quote from the PR) should be treated with a grain of salt, rather than being seen as an reliable, unbiased account. – Andrew Grimm Jan 9 '16 at 23:33
  • @Philipp I didn't say that I consume it. I am merely asking this question because I saw a reoccurring theme among biased media. I don't take hardly anything from the Daily Mail to be accurate. – Ruut Jan 10 '16 at 0:16

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