German Minister: Turkish intelligence collecting information on opponents

The German province of North Rhine-Westphalia’s (NRW) Interior Minister Herbert Reul said Turkish Intelligence Organisation (MİT) have been collecting information about the opponents of the government of Turkey in the region.

German media said on Thursday that Reul underlined in a recent parliamentary report that MİT collects systematic information about alleged government opponents on behalf of Ankara.

MİT’s data-collecting targets mostly opposition parties, Kurdish groups and, above all, supposed supporters of the Gülen movement, Reul said.

At least 173 persons and about 40 institutions and foundations in NRW, which the Turkish government believes linked with the Gülen group, are under MİT’s surveillance, according to the Reul’s report.

Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) said in July, this year that Turkey is among the countries that have increased spying activities in Germany.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 people including, academics, judges, teachers, police and civil servants etc., nearly 128,000 people have been detained and more than 60,000 people arrested over alleged links to the Gülen movement since a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

The government’s post-coup emergency rule has not discriminated against any group critical of Erdoğan in and outside Turkey with Kurdish minority, liberals, the alleged followers of the Gülen movement and many other opposition circles victimized over broadened terror charges. (SCF with

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