Arrested Turkish spy allegedly tasked with assassinating Austrian politician

An Austrian politician of Turkish descent has claimed that Turkey’s intelligence service MIT planned to have her assassinated by one of their agents.

In an interview with the Ahval news portal, Berivan Aslan, a Kurdish-Austrian politician and a member of Austria’s Green Party said: “The assassination plan is real. I was personally informed about the plan by the Austrian intelligence. I have been under police protection for nine days.”

Last week Austria’s Interior Minister Karl Nehammer told reporters that charges would be filed against a man who had confessed to spying for MIT.

But it seems that she was not the only one that faced assassination at the hands of the MIT, because the Austrian news portal Zack Zack reported on Wednesday that the man, identified as Feyyaz Ö., had also been tasked with carrying out attacks on its editor Peter Pilz, Social Democratic Party (SPO) European Parliamentary member Andreas Schieder and Turkish-born former Austrian parliamentarian Efgani Dönmez.

Feyyaz Ö. had originally been taken into custody on September 1 and that his identity had come to light during an Austrian government probe into clashes between Turks and Kurds in Vienna on June 24.

At the time he said that the man had confessed to being “recruited by the Turkish secret service to spy on other Turkish citizens or Austrian citizens with a Turkish migration background to then report them to the Turkish security authorities.”

On Wednesday this week, Der Standard newspaper in Vienna reported that the office for the Protection of the Constitution and Counterterrorism (BVT) was investigating allegations that the man had been tasked with carrying out attacks on a number of Austrian politicians. BVT said it did not believe anyone was in any “acute danger.”

Aslan told Ahval: “This person went directly to intelligence, not to the police station. He gave his testimony in a self-confident way. He said everything was ready for the assassination. He does not know the reason for the assassination, but he said he was ordered to create chaos. He is told ‘assassinate Berivan Aslan and convey the message’. It does not matter if I am hurt or killed. So he also has my death warrant in his hand.”

She said that Feyyaz Ö. had said that MIT would have “criminally stigmatized” him and not protected him. “In other words, he is also concerned about his own safety. He wants police protection from the Austrian state,” she said.

Turkey has denied allegations that it employed a Turkish secret service agent in Vienna to provoke clashes during a demonstration held by pro-Kurdish groups last June.

At the time Hami Aksoy, the spokesperson for the Turkish foreign ministry, was quoted by the Middle East Eye news portal as saying: “We reject the baseless claims made by the Austrian authorities about our country. “It is obvious that anti-Turkey circles are behind these allegations.”

Aksoy also accused the Austrian government of not being serious in its allegations.

“We call on the Austrian government not to pursue an artificial agenda using Turkey for shallow and domestic political calculations, but to act with the seriousness of a state and with common sense and to engage in sincere cooperation,” he was quoted as saying.

There has been no immediate reaction from the Turkish government over claims that Feyyaz Ö. was tasked with assassinations in Austria.

According to the news portal Turkish Minute, Feyyaz Ö is an Italian national with Turkish roots.

It reported that Nehammer had also told the September 1 news conference, where Feyyaz Ö’s arrest was first revealed, that more than 30 Austrians had been detained in Turkey between 2018 and 2020 and forced by MİT to work for them as spies.

Under Austrian and German law, those involved in court proceedings are guaranteed anonymity unless it can be proven that it is in the public interest to name them.

*Writing by Giordano Stolley

More journalists arrested for revealing Turkish intelligence officer’s identity 

You might also like