Germany Investigates Turkish Espionage

Germany confirmed on 6 April that it is investigating 20 Turkish nationals, who allegedly spied on opponents of the Turkish government in Germany, as part of the new probe opened last month.

In January, the German domestic intelligence agency (BfV) had launched an investigation into espionage by clerics sent to Germany to gather information on suspected Gülenists, who are blamed by the Turkish government for the 2016 coup attempt. The BfV warned of increasing Turkish intelligence efforts in Germany. The Turkish intelligence agency even requested support from German Federal Intelligence Service to spy on suspected Gülenists. Allegedly, Turkish state religious authority demanded consulates in 35 countries to monitor Gülenists and Austrian MP Peter Pilz disclosed documents claiming that Ankara demanded Turkish embassies on four continents to prepare reports on political opponents. European countries criticise such efforts as an intolerable and invasive infringement on their citizens' rights and an interference in internal affairs.

Turkey's relations with Germany, Austria, and other European countries have become increasingly tense due to the cancellation of rallies in the European capitals to drum up support for the Yes camp of the April 16 referendum and criticisms of the crackdown after the failed coup.



About author: Umay Atik


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