Germany’s Green Party: Turkey’s lists prepared by a police state

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Co-leader of the German Green Party Cem Özdemir / AFP PHOTO / PATRIK STOLLARZ

Asking Germany to inform its citizens about whether they have been blacklisted by Turkey, Cem Özdemir, co-leader of the German Green Party, has said the lists received from Turkey of people and companies allegedly affiliated with the faith-based Gülen movement have been prepared by a police state, not by a state of law, Deutsche Welle reported on Monday.

Referring to German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel’s warnings to German citizens about travelling to Turkey, Özdemir said German citizens should be informed as to whether they are on Turkey’s lists.

“Turkey is giving us these lists, but citizens are not informed about it. We definitely should change this. We have a duty here, we are responsible for protecting these people. … I think that should certainly be done: From now on people whose names are on the lists coming from Turkey should be informed, no matter who they are. Because the lists coming from Turkey are not coming from a state of law, but a police state. … The people on those lists are not terrorists; the majority of them just have opposing views. They are people defending democracy, human rights and representing a humanitarian state.”

In response to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s call to Turks in Germany not to vote for “anti-Turkey” parties, Özdemir said it is an honor for the Green Party to be on Erdoğan’s boycott list.

Warning Turkish voters in Germany against voting for the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Christian Democrats and Greens, Erdoğan called on them to teach the “anti-Turkey” political parties a lesson at the ballot box.

Speaking during a meeting in Mannheim, Özdemir said: “I am glad we are on that list. If we were not on the list, I would be disappointed. I mean the fact that the Green Party is not recommended by Mr. Erdoğan shows that we are on the right path. It is an honor for us to be on that list.”

A spokesperson for German Interior Minister Thomas de Maziere said in June they received from Ankara another list of people and companies allegedly affiliated with the faith-based Gülen movement, following a similar list that was previously given to the German government by Turkey in April.

The Berlin Security Agency has reportedly had a 40-page list containing the names of 72 people and organizations since June 16.

According to news published in the German media during the past few months, Turkey has provided a list of more than 300 people, 200 associations, schools and other institutions affiliated with Gülen movement, accused by Turkish government of mounting a botched coup attempt last summer.

Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) Undersecretary Hakan Fidan gave a list to Bruno Kahl, chief of the Federal Foreign Intelligence and Security Service (BND), during the Munich Security Conference in February. Kahl reportedly sent the list to the Federal Government, Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Federal Office for Security and police units in the various states.

Turkey has been criticized by EU members due to Erdoğan’s crackdown on opponents, including journalists and human rights defenders, in the wake of a botched coup attempt last year. Erdoğan has increased his presidential powers after a referendum in April, claiming that it is necessary to protect Turkey’s security from its domestic and foreign enemies.

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