According to data from the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, there has been a rapid rise in the number of Turkish people seeking asylum in Germany since a failed coup attempt on July 15. Germany received asylum applications from a total of 5,166 Turkish citizens during the January-November period of 2016, according to a story in Deutsche Welle on Sunday.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s claim that US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen was behind the assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey on Monday is an insult to Russian intelligence, a prominent Russian analyst said.
No investigation has been launched in the United States in connection with Turkey’s comments of the Gulen movement’s possible role in the Russian ambassador’s murder, a senior US Department of State official told TASS.
John Kirby, spokesman of the US State Department, said “Secretary [Kerry] has raised concerns about some of the rhetoric coming out of Turkey with respect to American involvement or support, tacit or otherwise, for this unspeakable assassination yesterday because of the presence of Mr. Gülen here in the United States.”
The Jabhat Fatah al-Sham organization (formerly the al-Nusra Front) claimed to be responsible for Monday’s murder of Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov’s in Ankara. Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu had even told his US counterpart John Kerry that both Turkey and Russia “know” that the Gulen movement was behind the ambassador’s murder.
Now for the fourth time, Embrace Relief is organizing another campaign to assist Syrian refugees abroad, this time to Syrians in refugee camps in Iraq. We are asking our volunteers to bring new or gently used blankets and winter coats to one of the drop-off locations.
“We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the tragic assassination of Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, who was speaking at an art gallery in Ankara,” said Eyup Sener, chairman of the Turkish Cultural Center New Hampshire. “We condemn in the strongest terms this heinous act of terror. No terrorist act can be justified, regardless of its perpetrators and their stated purposes.”
Issuing a press statement following the latest terrorist attack in Turkey on Saturday, Muslim scholar Fethullah Gülen claimed that Turkey is being dragged into a civil war but underlined that sympathizers of the movement sometimes called after him would always remain peaceful no matter how they are treated.
Fethullah Gülen: I condemn, in the strongest terms, the cruel terrorist attack carried out beside the Istanbul Beşiktaş Football Stadium that cost the lives of 44 of Turkish citizens, the majority of whom are members of the security forces.
“Even if you get more civilian control, it’s not more democratic,” Lars Haugom, a Norwegian expert on Turkish army, said. “It seems to be about party control, with [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan and the AKP seeking to strengthen their control of the military.” Ceren, a general’s daughter, fears there’s little left to stop the authoritarian Erdogan now. “No one can say no to him,” she said. “This is his kingdom now.”
In recent years, the movement has received more scrutiny, not least after its long-time alley, Turkish President Erdogan, publicly split with the group, accusing it of infiltrating state institutions and even outright “terrorism”. Germany’s intelligence services disagree: In 2014, they published an assessment outlining that while some elements within the movement gave room for concern, they didn’t warrant an observation of the movement.