Turkey is pressuring “religious advisors” to keep an eye on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s opponents in 38 countries, including Belgium. In Belgium, how the religious councillor at the Turkish embassy behaved could be seen as interference.
A report published by The Black Sea news website on Saturday revealed that imams from Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) spied on people sympathetic to Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen and the movement he inspired in Romania as well.
Mr Gulen denies any role in the failed coup in July, and US officials have privately said the evidence provided by Turkey has been inadequate, while voluminous. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim recently described the delay as a joke on Turkey.
An American pastor who has been jailed on bogus terrorism charges in Turkey for more than five months has asked US President Donald Trump to help secure his release. Pastor Brunson has no known ties to terrorist groups, and the Turkish government has not produced any evidence to show that he does.
Boris Pistorius, the Interior Minister for Lower Saxony State of Germany, has accused Turkey of carrying out “unacceptable” spying on its soil. It is accused of conducting espionage in more than 200 associations and schools linked to supporters of Fethullah Gülen. Pistorius said the move was “intolerable and unacceptable.”
He has become a joke, albeit a dangerous one. He has become Muammar Qadhafi. Turkey is dangerously polarized. We know from Turkish political history that such polarization often leads to violence. I fear that Turkey is headed to a prolonged period of civil conflict if not civil war.
Rubin underlined that Turkey is already dangerously polarized prior to an April 16 referendum on a constitutional package that will grant sweeping powers to Erdoğan and switch the country to an executive presidency. “We know from Turkish political history that such polarization often leads to violence,” he said.
Sweden’s official radio station, Radio Sweden, has documented that Turkey’s government is trying to identify and track down supporters of the opposition Gülen Movement in Sweden. In a conversation, a Swedish Gülen supporter is threatened that there would be reprisals if he did not give some concrete information on Gülenist activity in Sweden.
German authorities have informed Turks linked with the Gülen movement about Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MİT) surveillance in Germany. German experts concluded that most of the photos of 300 Turks and 200 schools, associations and organizations that are connected to the Gülen movement were taken secretly by surveillance cameras.
A 15-month-old baby with Down syndrome, Ayşe Sena Bunlu, has been suffering from serious health problems ever since her parents, both of whom are police officers, were purged from their posts and jailed in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, according to a story in the Tr724 news portal on Friday.
Country after country, world’s leading intelligence agencies say they’ve seen no evidence supporting Ankara’s narrative. Heads or members of intelligence services of two countries, Germany and the U.S., both allies of Turkey, came out and said Ankara has yet to convince them about its narrative that links Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen to July 15 coup attempt.