‘Germany is lying to us,’ Turkish justice minister says
Europeans are mocking Turkish people’s intelligence, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ has said, criticizing Europe over the statements of German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) head Bruno Kahl, who said Turkey had failed to convince Berlin that Fethullah Gülen was behind the July 2016 coup attempt in Turkey.
“It is a mockery of Turkish people’s intelligence,” Bozdağ told state-run Anadolu Agency on March 21.
Kahl told German magazine Der Spiegel on March 18 that the Turkish government failed to convince them that Gülen was behind the coup attempt.
“Turkey has tried on different levels to convince us of that fact, but they have not succeeded,” Kahl had said.
Bozdağ slammed Kahl, saying, “The person at the head of the German intelligence organization is lying to the German people, the Turkish people, and the whole world.”
Reminded of the similar comments of the chairman of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Devin Nunes, Bozdağ said he believed that both intelligence organizations “knows that Gülen is behind the coup without a doubt.”
“So I have never been convinced that there is any hesitation in terms of the authorities of these countries that FETÖ is behind the coup, and I still do not have any hesitation,” he said arguing that “FETÖ is producing and forcing the production of this propaganda.”
“Perhaps because of the tensions between Germany and Turkey, they think they can harm Turkey with the help of voicing the views of FETÖ by standing beside it. It is not possible for Turkey to be harmed by that,” he said.
“He is responding to Turkey’s Nazi comments against Germany in his own way. But we are making those comments based on their own actions,” he added.
Claiming that there were “hundreds of examples of solid evidence” that FETÖ had perpetrated the coup attempt, Bozdağ said the head of the intelligence agency “has been guided by the terrorist organizations, speaking their words, making statements with their prompting. It is utterly wrong.”
Bozdağ added that the evidence on Gülen has also been submitted to U.S. authorities and that the “process between the Turkish and the U.S. judicial authorities continues in terms of procedure.”
“We have conveyed the files including the demand of provisional arrest to the U.S. Department of Justice. They must pass it to the judicial authorities,” Bozdağ said.
Bozdağ also held a phone conversation with the U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions late on March 21, reiterating Ankara's demand for temporary arrest and extradition of Gülen.
Turkey has long demanded the extradition of Gülen from the U.S. but has not yet received a positive response. The evidence provided by Turkey to the U.S. Department of Justice has reportedly not yet been transferred to the federal court which needs to examine Ankara’s request, disturbing the Turkish government.
European countries taking sides with ‘no’ campaign
Bozdağ also evaluated the latest comments from European politicians who said a victory for the “yes” side in the April 16 referendum would harm EU-Turkey Relations.
Bozdağ regarded it as “a threat,” saying, “They are taking sides with the ‘no’ vote.”
“They are threatening the citizens who will vote ‘yes’ [in the referendum]. They say ‘if you give a ‘yes’ vote, we will not admit you into Europe,’” he said, accusing European countries of supporting terrorism after alleged supporters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) conducted a Newroz rally in Germany.
“I am asking whether the PKK is listed as a terrorist organization in Germany and the EU. It is listed as a terrorist organization. How, then, did the German government let the PKK and its followers conduct such a terrorist action?” he asked.
“This is also very clear evidence that whoever acts against Turkey is guarded by Western countries,” he said.