Will Turkey’s assassinations reach America?


Date posted: November 29, 2016

Michael Rubin

Turkey has never been known for its respect for human rights, but one of the most troubling aspects of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s rule has been Turkey’s increasing aggressiveness toward dissidents and political opponents, not only within Turkey’s borders, but also abroad.

There was, of course, the 2013 assassination of three Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) activists on French soil, the responsibility for which appears to lie with Turkey’s intelligence service. Turkish officials may dismiss the matter based on the identity of the victims — not only Turkey but also the United States considers the PKK to be a terrorist group — but that’s neither here nor there: The women murdered were unarmed and had not been implicated directly in any acts of violence. Regardless, on French soil their apprehension is the responsibility of the French police. It is not the job of Turkish agents to conduct murder at will.

Now, it appears that the Turkish intelligence services may have been contemplating a similar incident in Germany. Two German broadcasters have reported that German prosecutors have opened a case against a Turkish agent spying on two Kurds in Germany and plotting to murder them for their political activities. Kurdish political activists in Belgium fear they are next, especially as Erdogan singles them out for opprobrium.

There is no longer any doubt that Turkey conducts operations in the United States against Turks and Kurds with whom Erdogan disagrees. That problem will likely get worse as Erdogan digs in his heels and demands the extradition of exiled cleric Fethullah Gülen, a one-time ally turned adversary, whom Erdogan accuses of masterminding the July 15 coup attempt. While Turkish officials have turned over reams of papers detailing why Turkey believes Gülen is a malign influence, none of the evidence Turkey has provided actually implicates Gülen in the events of July 15.

More recently, the case of the New York-based Turkish Heritage Organization (THO) should raise alarms. Leaked emails show that Erdogan’s son-in-law was instructing THO President Halil Danismaz in who and what to attack verbally and in print. Rather than promote Turkish heritage, the organization basically acted as an unregistered wing of the Turkish government and its ruling political party. Of greater concern has been evidence that the THO was engaged in espionage against the Turkish community in the United States. According to sources familiar with the case, the Turkish Heritage Organization was allegedly reporting home on the political perspectives and ethnicity of ethnic Turkish and Kurdish owned business in the United States. To create a database of such information has chilling implications.

The Islamic Republic of Iran, Muammar Qadhafi’s Libya, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, and Vladimir Putin’s Russia have all assassinated dissidents on European soil, and each have conducted espionage against political opposition living in America. Turks living abroad aren’t yet drinking polonium tea, but as Erdogan looks toward Putin for inspiration and as the Turkish leader grows more erratic and intolerant of any dissent, that time may not be too far off. The question is whether not only European countries are ready to conduct counter intelligence against Turkish operatives, but whether US law enforcement will understand that what now occurs aren’t simply violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act out of ignorance, but a sign of far greater and perhaps in the near future more violent Turkish operations on US soil. Erdogan is testing the waters.

Unless the Justice Department is willing to respond with the full weight of the law and without prejudice to Turkey’s status as a NATO partner, Turkey’s operations in America will get far worse and potentially more violent.

Source: American Enterprise Institute , November 28, 2016


Related News

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

Yusuf Özmen, a cancer patient who has been sentenced to 8 years, 9 months in prison due to his alleged links to the Gülen movement, has recently been sent back to prison after the supreme court of appeals upheld the prison sentence.

Gülen media, pro-government media, is it the same thing?

If the Cemaat has done something illegal, such as bribing an official to acquire construction license for its schools or illegally coercing businessmen to financially contribute to its activities, is it possible for this country’s citizens to condemn it. If the Cemaat is involved in illegal activities, then it is up to the state or government to reveal them and bring the Cemaat to justice.

Turkish Cultural Center Brooklyn Honors Borough’s Elected Officials

The Turkish Culture Center of Brooklyn feted a bevy of Brooklyn elected officials tonight as part of their eighth Annual Friendship Dinner & Award ceremony celebrating cultural diversity with the theme of the evening being “Hate Crime.”

Turkish American ‘balance alignment’

Ali H. Aslan, Washington D.C. If, when I began working in Washington 16 years ago, someone had come up to me and said, “The day will come when nearly 50 senators and representatives from the US Congress will participate in a Turkish gathering,” I would have said he was dreaming. And if someone had also […]

Rumi Forum Hosts Religious Extremism Debate

“We see a failed state structure, a failed community and these social fragmentations, sectarian lines would make people accept authoritarian hard line fundamentalist interpretations,” said Mustafa Gurbuz, a Rumi Forum speaker and sociologist.

Turkey’s Reichstag Fire

When tanks blocked bridges in the heart of Istanbul and F-16s bombed Turkey’s parliament in Ankara on July 15, Western diplomats were caught by surprise. So too were U.S. forces stationed at the Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey. The U.S. intelligence community had not an inkling that anything was amiss until the troops started moving.

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Turks Should Question The Official Narrative That Gulen Was Behind The Coup

Gülen Movement: An Alternative to Fundamentalism

Fountain Magazine announces essay contest winners

Turkish PM Erdoğan’s imagined enemies

“Somalis will remember your aid”

Kimse Yok Mu organizes international cartoon competition: ‘Refugees’

Turkish finance minister declines to comment on ‘color lists’

Copyright 2023 Hizmet News