German lawmakers slam Turkey for alleged spying on colleague

German lawmakers slam Turkey for alleged spying on colleague

German lawmakers slam Turkey for alleged spying on colleague German lawmakers have voiced anger at claims that Turkey is spying on a fellow member of parliament.

The caucus leader of the Social Democratic Party, Thomas Oppermann, said it was “absolutely unacceptable” that lawmaker Michelle Müntefering “appeared on a list” that the Turkish National Intelligence Agency (MİT) handed to the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND). 

German media reported that Müntefering appeared under the heading “centers of power and non-governmental organizations” on a list of people and groups allegedly linked to the movement of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, widely believed to have been behind the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt. 

Oppermann said in a statement on March 29 that “the Turkish government must immediately stop this spying.”

“A line has clearly been crossed,” said Müentefering, who chairs the German-Turkish parliamentary group. 

German prosecutors are probing claims that MİT has been spying on 300 alleged members of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).

“These measures by the Turkish government once more show the attempt to suppress critical views,” she said in a statement.

“I stand for dialogue and clear language, with the most varied and difficult dialogue partners at home and abroad,” she said. 

Süddeutsche Zeitung, NDR and WDR on March 28 said MİT had carried out spying activities and presented the information it gathered to BND at the Munich Security Conference in 2016.

According to the reports, some 300 Gülenists living in Germany and nearly 200 schools and similar institutions affiliated to the group were on MİT’s list. The list allegedly included the addresses, mobile and landline numbers, and secretly taken photos of those suspected of being Gülenists.