Germany Accuses Turkey Of ‘Unacceptable’ Spying Against Gülen Supporters


Date posted: March 29, 2017

Boris Pistorius, the Interior Minister for Lower Saxony State of Germany, has accused Turkey of carrying out “unacceptable” spying on its soil amid allegations that Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s regime sent agents after more than 300 people.

It is accused of conducting espionage in more than 200 associations and schools linked to supporters of the exiled Turkish Muslim scholar Fethullah Gülen. Pistorius said the move was “intolerable and unacceptable.”

“The intensity and ruthlessness with which people abroad are being investigated is remarkable,” the minister told a press conference on Tuesday. He said there was “no evidence that Gülen supporters in Germany had anything to do with the attempted coup.”

Pistorius accused the Turkish government of having an “almost paranoid fear of conspiracy” and of trying to silence its critics, with over 47,000 arrested in the post-coup crackdown on Gülen supporters.

Gülen has been a vocal critic of Turkish government and Turkey’s autocratic President  Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on massive corruption in the government as well as Turkey’s aiding and abetting of radical groups in Syria. Erdoğan launched an unprecedented persecution against Gülen and his followers in December 2013 right after major corruption probe that incriminated Erdoğan’s family members.

The ruling AKP’s Islamist leaders labelled the movement as ‘FETÖ’, a terrorist organization, although Gülen, 75-year old cleric, and his followers have never advocated violence but rather remained staunchly opposed to any violence, radicalism and terror in the name of religion.

German media reported that the head of Turkey’s MIT intelligence agency demanded help spying on hundreds sympathizers of Gülen movement from Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) during last month’s Munich Security Conference.

Some of the images included on a list of names were allegedly secretly recorded using CCTV and other means, showing they had been gained using espionage.

According to a report by British daily the Independent, a German security official stated that, “We are horrified at how openly Turkey reveals that it is spying on Turks living here.” Prosecutors are already investigating the use of imams to transmit information on the sympathizers of Gülen movement to Ankara from German mosques. Authorities in Lower Saxony and elsewhere are planning to warn those named on the list not to travel to Turkey, fearing they will be detained.

German authorities have already started an investigation over whether the Turkish intelligence service MİT has been spying on supporters of the Gülen movement in Germany. Thomas de Maizière, German interior minister, said it was a “criminal offence” to carry out espionage activities on German soil, and they “will not be tolerated by us.” “That applies to all foreign states and all intelligence services,” he said.

“We have repeatedly told Turkey that something like this is unacceptable. No matter what position someone may have on the Gülen movement, here German jurisdiction applies and citizens will not be spied on by foreign countries,” he said.

Commenting to BBC on the issue on Tuesday, Hans-Georg Maassen, Germany’s head of the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Bundesamt fuer Verfassungsschutz), said, “Outside Turkey I don’t think anyone believes that the Gülen movement was behind the attempted putsch.”

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

The Turkish President hit out at the head of Germany’s BND foreign intelligence service on Friday for suggesting Berlin is not convinced that Gülen orchestrated July’s coup. Bruno Kahl told Der Spiegel magazine that Turkey tried to “convince us on a number of different levels. But they haven’t yet been successful.”

Over 135,000 people, including thousands within the military, have been purged over their alleged links to the Gülen movement since the coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

As of March 23, 94,982 people were being held without charge, with an additional 47,128 in pre-trial detention over their alleged links to the movement. A total of 7,317 academics were also purged as well as 4,272 judges and prosecutors, who were dismissed due to alleged involvement in the July 15 coup attempt.

Source: Stockholm Center for Freedom , March 28, 2017


Related News

The last refuge of losers: deporting a journalist

İHSAN YILMAZ I am sure most of our readers know my Today’s Zaman colleague Mahir Zeynalov better than they know me. He is a very accomplished Twitter user. His Turkish twitter account has 57,000 followers and the English one has 87,000 followers. Last year, he was chosen as one of the 10 most effective twitter […]

Torture – Turkish prisoner says tied to chair, pushed into sea while under custody

A Turkish man, identified with his initials D.G., was bound to a chair and pushed into sea on multiple times as police officers tortured him while under custody. Detained as part of an investigation into the Gulen movement in October 2016, D.G. was put in pre-trial detention after days of torture, he told his brother during latter’s recent visit to the prison.

Never without justice

There have been many moves of interference with an investigation where four ministers and their kids are being accused and concrete evidence and documents present a grave situation. In these first days of the investigation, the police chiefs and authorities were removed, new prosecutors were appointed, police authorities were reappointed all over Turkey, everybody covering the issue including the media is being strongly suppressed, innocent people are being insulted and accused of forming a gang. All of this is being done to cover up the corruption.

‘Parallel’ paranoia reaches the kitchen of Parliament

In the latest example of the Justice and Development Party’s (AK Party) “parallel” paranoia, the ruling party’s Sinop deputy and head of the Parliamentary Interior Affairs Commission, Mehmet Ersoy, ordered restaurant officials in Parliament to remove a dish called “samanyolu kebap” as it reminds him of institutions affiliated with the “parallel structure,” a daily reported on Monday.

Minister’s remarks on Gülen cause AK Party members to resign

“The reason we have decided to quit is the defamation campaign launched against the Hizmet movement and its moral leader, Gülen, after the Dec. 17 operation that has occupied the [country’s] agenda for the last month,” Kara said, adding that the ugly allegations and defamation campaign against Gülen have offended their consciences.

Let Mr. Erdogan Fight His Own Battles

Mr. Erdogan is trying to drag the United States into the argument by threatening to demand Mr. Gulen’s extradition to Turkey. Some experts say there is no legal basis for an extradition request because there are no charges or legal cases against Mr. Gulen, who has permanent-resident status and has lived in rural Pennsylvania since 1997.

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

Samanyolu TV, Kimse Yok Mu raise TL 65 million for quake victims

Turkish man in Netherlands sentenced for threatening Erdogan critic

Gülen’s lawyer files lawsuit over unlawful police probe into Hizmet

Mother’s Day takes on a new meaning with Kimse Yok Mu

UK Parliament: No evidence that Gülen, movement behind coup attempt

UN representative found evidence of torture in Turkish prisons

Hate speech and its impact on the movement (1)

Copyright 2023 Hizmet News