Turkish expats in Germany are now being more closely scrutinised by Turkey’s National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) report German newspapers, Der Tagesspiegel and Die Welt.
The newspapers, based on their sources in the German government, claims that MIT is increasing its efforts in infiltrating government bodies to get more information towards cracking down on Turkish dissidents in the country.
German media claims come after the federal government was questioned in parliament by the Free Democrat Party over MIT’s activities in the country. The government responded stating that the German Federal Public Prosecutor has taken up four separate investigations on the matter.
The newspaper reports state that public prosecutions had investigated a total of 23 cases of MIT reconnaissance activities over the last decade with a sudden influx of 17 cases in the last year alone.
The main targets of the MIT in Germany are Kurdish PKK and leftist DHKP-C organizations which are in Turkey and European Union’s terror list. MIT further targets Gulen Movement members since the 15 July attempted coup in 2016, information from public prosecutions shows.
Federal Government’s answer to the parliament highlights that Berlin follows MIT’s activities in the country with concern. Regarding this issue, the German Interior Ministry sent a warning notice to government bodies on MIT’s activities.
MIT focuses most of its efforts on German security and immigration institutions to have a more control over Turkish citizens, observes the report.
Federal Criminal Police Office – BKA, The Federal Intelligence Service (BND), Military Counter-Intelligence Service (MAD), Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), Federal Office for Migration and Refugees – BAMF, The German Customs Investigation Bureau (ZKA) and Federal Public Prosecution office have all been targeted by MIT in their pursuit of more information.
The report maintains, based on security sources, that MIT had attempted over 100 times to reach public servants working at these institutions in a bid to get insider information.
Back in December 2016, religious officials affiliated with the Turkish Islamic Union of Religious Affairs (DITIB), were accused of spying on pro-Gulen supporters, and had later fled Germany avoiding possible arrest and backlash from the German public.
DITIB is known as the largest Islamic organization in Germany, with around 1000 mosques and member organizations across the country. Some Turkish expats have now noted that fewer numbers of Muslims visit DITIB mosques due to MIT’s spying activities.