Security guard in refugee shelter in Germany turns out to be a Turkish spy

The Turkish secret service MIT spies on people of Turkish origin in Germany. In one case, the Turkish Consulate General in Düsseldorf is involved.

It is a scandal that has parallels to the events after the coup attempt in Turkey in 2016. At that time, it was mainly imams in the mosques of the "Ditib" who had collected information for the Turkish secret service MIT about suspected supporters of the Gülen movement. IPPEN.MEDIA's Frankfurter Rundschau has now come across a similar case of espionage in Germany, in which the Turkish Consulate General in Düsseldorf is also involved. According to the report by Erkan Pehlivan, the Turkish mission abroad received information from a former employee of a security company who allegedly worked as a security guard at a refugee shelter in Grevenbroich, North Rhine-Westphalia.

This is according to documents classified as "secret" from the Turkish Foreign Ministry to the Interior Ministry. The names of seven men and one woman are also listed there. "In the documents sent to us from our consulate general in Düsseldorf with reference to a conversation with our citizen A., it appears that he would like to disclose the names of persons who have connections to FETÖ," it says. "FETÖ" stands for "Fethullah's Terrorist Organisation". After the coup attempt, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed the movement around the Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen for the attempted coup and classified it as a terrorist organisation.

Security company employee spies on refugees from Turkey

According to the document, A., a Turk, had found the persons he accused of having connections to the FETÖ not only in Grevenbroich but also in Rommerskirchen and Dormagen. In addition to the Turkish identity card numbers, addresses and partly the telephone numbers of the spied persons are also listed.

The report of the Turkish Consulate General was forwarded to the anti-terror police "TEM", which also wrote a report on the spied persons. This report, classified as "secret", writes that they have, among other things, compared the data with other police departments.

MIT exploits people of Turkish origin in Germany

"It could well be that employees of the Turkish secret service MIT, who are active in the Turkish consulates general, are taking advantage of people like A. So, it seems that some names were at least found out beforehand by MIT and put on the list," suspects Dr. Yasar Demircioglu, Turkish constitutional lawyer and legal advisor at the "Human Rights Defenders". Like many other academics, Demircioglu fled to Germany after the attempted coup in Turkey in 2016. Former Turkish diplomats have confirmed in the past that MIT personnel are sitting in Turkish missions abroad to collect information on government critics.

In the past, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) had repeatedly warned against the activities of the Turkish secret service MIT. "The intelligence interest of Turkish intelligence services and security authorities in Germany is basically directed at all organisations and individuals who are in actual or suspected opposition to the present Turkish government. Their primary targets are the "Kurdistan Workers' Party" (PKK) and the Gülen movement," writes the BfV in its 2021 report.

Affected person files criminal complaint for espionage

At least one of the persons concerned has filed a criminal complaint with the Düsseldorf public prosecutor's office for spying. In it, he accuses A. and officials of the Turkish Consulate General in Düsseldorf of secret service agent activity and political suspicion. In addition, the plaintiff accuses Turkey of having violated the so-called "United Nations Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961" by spying on Erdogan critics in Germany.

Gökay Akbulut of the Left Party, member of the Bundestag and deputy chairperson of the German-Turkish parliamentary group, is outraged by the case. In an interview with Frankfurter Rundschau, he says: "If it is true that a security employee in refugee accommodation spies on opposition members from Turkey and works for Turkish foreign missions, this would be an outrageous occurrence. The German government must follow up on these indications and set clear limits for the Turkish government". Akbulut calls for intervention by the judiciary and security authorities. "It cannot be that refugees from Turkey are not safe even here from the long arm of Erdogan. Therefore, all informer activities for Turkey must be stopped and the perpetrators prosecuted."

The incident does not come as a surprise. Only recently, the AKP deputy Mustafa Acikgöz had said in his diatribe in a Neuss mosque of the "Grey Wolves" that no matter where in the world they fled to, the supporters of the PKK and Gülen movement would be destroyed. He said the aim was to pull them out of the holes they were hiding in. The case led to a diplomatic dispute. The Turkish Embassy representative was summoned to the Foreign Office and told that hate and hate speech had no place in Germany.