Germany silent on Turkish intelligence role in 2016 coup, citing state interests

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German parliament. AFP PHOTO / Omer MESSINGER

Citing the “interests of the state,” the German government refused to answer a parliamentary inquiry questioning the role of the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MİT) in a 2016 failed coup in Turkey, Deutsche Welle (DW) Turkish service reported on Thursday.

The Free Democrat Party (FDP) submitted a number of questions regarding MİT’s role in the coup attempt and activities in Germany, seeking answers from Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The Interior Ministry on Wednesday issued a statement addressing the questions on behalf of the government.

Considering the Turkish government’s post-coup crackdown targeting dissidents inside and outside the country, critics have raised questions about the government role in the 2016 coup.

Some experts believe it was a “self-coup,” a putsch that was orchestrated by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to use as a pretext for changing the country’s regime.

According to the ministry, MİT’s activities in Germany were mainly focused on dissidents of the Turkish government, including outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)-affiliated individuals and followers of the Gülen movement.

Since the abortive putsch, thousands of Turkish nationals have arrived in Germany and applied for asylum, fleeing persecution in Turkey.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of orchestrating the coup attempt, although the movement strongly denies any involvement.

Since 2008, Germany has launched 23 preliminary inquiries targeting the spying activities of MİT in German territory, and there are four ongoing investigations by federal prosecutors, the ministry’s statement said.

The ministry also denied rumors that MİT spies had infiltrated the German security forces; however, it acknowledged that German security personnel were made aware of such attempts on the part of Turkish spies.

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