BERLIN Germany will not tolerate international espionage on its territory, the interior minister mentioned on Tuesday, in a strong response to media studies that Turkish solution expert services were being spying on supporters of the Gulen movement in Germany.
Fethullah Gulen, a U.S-based mostly Muslim cleric with a significant next in Turkey, is accused by Ankara of orchestrating a unsuccessful army coup last July. Ankara has purged condition institutions, educational facilities and universities and the media of tens of hundreds of suspected supporters of the cleric.
The media studies of Turkish espionage in Germany have deepened a rift between the NATO allies in the operate-up to a referendum up coming thirty day period in Turkey that proposes to significantly develop the powers of President Tayyip Erdogan.
The Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper and two broadcasters documented that Turkey’s National Intelligence Company experienced supplied Germany’s international intelligence services a record of names of hundreds of supposed Gulen supporters living in Germany.
Inside Minster Thomas de Maiziere, talking in Passau in southern Germany, mentioned he was not amazed by the report and additional that the lists would be seemed at independently.
“We have explained to Turkey quite a few moments that this kind of (activity) is not satisfactory,” he mentioned. “Regardless of what you feel of the Gulen movement, German legislation applies here and citizens who live here would not be spied on by international states,” he mentioned.
The studies mentioned the record involved the names of extra than 300 men and women and extra than two hundred associations, educational facilities and other institutions and a German investigation indicated some of the pictures may well have been taken secretly.
The northern condition of Reduce Saxony even mentioned it was warning suspected Gulen movement supporters about achievable reprisals if they traveled to their homeland.
“I feel that is a justified and important evaluate to be able to warn men and women,” mentioned condition interior minister Boris Pistorius. “The intensity and ruthlessness being (made use of) on men and women living on international soil is remarkable.”
Worries about Turkish spying are not confined to Germany.
Swedish general public services radio broadcaster SR documented that Turkey’s ruling AK Celebration was putting pressure, through the Union of European Turkish Democrats, on Swedish Gulen supporters to provide information and facts about fellow Gulen supporters in the country.
Germany is previously investigating achievable spying by Turkish imams in Germany.. A spokesman for the chief federal prosecutor’s office mentioned that probe continued.
German politicians, which include Chancellor Angela Merkel, are indignant about Erdogan’s repeated comparisons of their country to Nazi Germany in response to cancellations of prepared campaign events concentrating on the Turkish diaspora in Germany. Germany says the cancellations were being prompted by protection concerns.
The speaker of the Bundestag reduced home of parliament mentioned in a speech late on Monday that Turkey was turning into an authoritarian process and that its president was successfully staging a coup against his have country.
Norbert Lammert, a member of Merkel’s conservatives, mentioned the referendum was about “transforming an unquestionably fragile but democratic process into an authoritarian process – and this next coup attempt may well well be effective”.
(Reporting by Madeline Chambers, Reuters Television set, Andrea Shalal, Hans-Edzard Busemann and Daniel Dixon in Stockholm Composing by Madeline Chambers Modifying by Gareth Jones)