A new report has leaked information that the Turkish spy agency has over 6,000 operatives in Germany and may reach into neighbouring Austria as well. According to a new report from German media, the Turkish intelligence service, known at MIT, has over 6,000 operatives in Germany and may play a part in the recent pro-Erdogan sentiment among the Turkish diaspora.
The MIT has even pressured German Interior Minister Thomas de
Maiziere to act against supporters of Imam Fethullah Gülen, the man
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blames for being behind the failed coup
last month. The MIT have allowed Erdogan to keep close ties to the
Turkish community in Germany Kronen Zeitung reports.
Erich Schmidt-Eenboom, an expert on intelligence agencies in Germany
said: “The activities of the Turkish secret service MIT were always
tolerated in Germany. This is no longer about intelligence
reconnaissance, but increasingly used to acquire intelligence to
The charge has been confirmed by Green party MP Christian Ströbele
who said that the German domestic intelligence, German police and
other authorities needed to reexamine their relationship with the
Turkish spy agency. Ströbele promised to make formal requests into the
matter in the Bundestag after the summer. “I’m going to put the subject
‘work of the Turkish secret service in Germany’ on the agenda in the
supervisory board immediately after the holidays, ” he said.
In neighbouring Austria there are also concerns that the MIT may
be influencing the actions of Turks in that country. Peter Pilz of the
Austrian Green party has expressed a desire to find out if the reach of
the MIT extends to the alpine nation. Pilz warned of the possibility of a “systematic spying of all persons of Turkish, Kurdish and Alevi origin,” in Austria by the MIT.
Pilz claims that the MIT had also approached the
Austrian government to give over information on Gülen supports and
warned Turks in Austria to not visit their homeland though admitted he
had no evidence the Austrian government had handed Ankara any
information. The solution to the problem, according to Pilz, is to make
all MIT operatives persona non grata in Austria and give them 48 hours
to leave the country or face arrest. He also added that Austria should
consider an arms embargo so that Austrian weapons aren’t used to target
minority Kurds in Turkey.
The solution to the problem, according to Pilz, is to make all MIT
operatives persona non grata in Austria and give them 48 hours to leave
the country or face arrest. He also added that Austria should consider
an arms embargo so that Austrian weapons aren’t used to target minority
Kurds in Turkey.
Since the failed coup the Erdogan government has cracked down on
supporters of Fethullah Gülen arresting tens of thousands of government
and military personnel. Many Kurds and other minority groups in Germany
and Austria have said they feel threatened by Turkish nationalists who may have links to MIT.
In both countries there have been rallies and protests in support of Erdogan, one in Cologne attracted tens of thousands
of supporters. In Vienna a demonstration by Kurds against
Turkey’s policies in the south of the country led to a violent
confrontation in the cities central square that scared tourists enough to make them think a terror attack was imminent.