GERMANY — Turkey conducting espionage against supporters of Fethullah Gulen

“This report does not come as a complete surprise to me. We have repeatedly told Turkey that something like this is unacceptable. No matter what position someone may have on the Gulen movement, here German law is applied and citizens will not be spied on by foreign countries.”

Thomas de Maizière — German Foreign Minister

Cover of the file containing the names of alleged supporters of the Gulen movement in Germany

German officials have opened a preliminary investigation into suspicions the Turkish intelligence service has been spying on hundreds of its nationals in Germany. This is the second German investigation opened this year against Turkey on charges of espionage. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

At the end of February 2017, an MIT undersecretary gave Germany’s intelligence chief a file on Gulen’s movement at the Munich Security Conference (MSC 2017).

According to German media, the MIT — Turkey National Intelligence Organization — handed to the German BND a list and surveillance photos of people belonging to the Fetullah Gulen’s movement.

Since 11 December 2015, the Gülen movement is classified as a terrorist organization by Turkey under the name: Gülenist Terror Organisation (Fethullahçı Terör Örgütü: FETÖ)

The government of President Erdogan claims that Fetullah Gulen — a cleric living in the U.S. —  is behind last July’s failed coup attempt in Turkey and has requested his extradition from the US.

The Turkish officials asked the Germans to put 300 people and 200 organizations under surveillance. In return, Germany warned those on the list that they might face repression or arrest if they entered Turkey.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim accused the BND of leaking this information to the Government.

“Intelligence organizations share such information with each other. But it is clear that this information in Germany was given to government sources and they used it. This is, first of all, not ethical. It does not fit intelligence practices.”

Thomas de Maizière — the German Minister of the Interior — suspects that  the move may have been intended to weigh on Turkish-German relations, “to provoke us in some way.”

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GERMANY: “Gulen not behind Turkey coup attempt”

In an interview with news magazine Der Spiegel, BND head Bruno Kahl said:

“Turkey has tried to convince us of that at every level but so far it has not succeeded.”

RELATED POST: GERMANY — BND: “Gulen not behind Turkey coup attempt”

Hans-Georg Maassen — the Head of the BfV — stated:

“Outside Turkey I don’t think anyone believes that the Gulen movement was behind the attempted putsch.”

“At any rate I don’t know anyone outside Turkey who has been convinced by the Turkish government.”

Lower Saxony Interior Minister Boris Pistorius went even further:

“We have to say very clearly that it involves a fear of conspiracy you can class as paranoid.”

Berlin launches investigation into ‘Turkish spying’ on German soil

REFERENCES

German official accuses Turkey of ‘unacceptable’ spying against Gulen supporters — The Independent

German officials warn Gulen followers Turkey is trying to spy on them — Japan Times

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GERMANY — Turkey conducting espionage against supporters of Fethullah Gulen

This entry was posted in BfV, BND, Fethullah Gülen, Germany, MIT, Turkey and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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