Several German politicians have expressed anger over the use of a smartphone application, developed by the Turkish Security Directorate General, by Turkish expatriates in Germany for spying on critics of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, German news reports said on Thursday.
The smartphone application enables Turks to make online notifications to the police.
According to a segment on“Report Mainz,” a TV program on German TV station ARD,two members of the German parliament from the Free Democratic Party (FDP) have filed criminal complaints against the use of the controversial smartphone application in Germany on suspicion that its users are involved in spying.
ARD reported that a Turkish expatriate in Germany notified Turkish police about another Turk who is a critic of Erdoğan by using the smartphone application in question. The person who informed the police sent a screenshot of the notification he made to Turkish police to the Erdoğan critic.
Over the past months, some German citizens of Turkish origin have been arrested as they entered Turkey due to complaints leveled against them by Turks.
Erich Schmidt-Eenboom, an intelligence expert, has described the smartphone application as a method of the Gestapo, the official secret police of Nazi Germany, while he called on German authorities to take action to prevent the use of the application in the country.
Cem Özdemir, former co-chairperson of the German political party Alliance ’90/The Greens, also heavily criticized the use of the smartphone application by Turkish expatriates against Erdoğan critics in Germany.
He called on German President Walter Steinmeier and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to clearly express to Erdoğan, who is currently on an official visit to the country, that “the line has been crossed.”
The Turkish government has been receiving widespread criticism for carrying out spying activities on its critics in Germany through its supporters and even state-employed imams.