Turkish presidential spokesperson slams German intel chief over coup remarks
ANKARATurkish Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın has slammed the head of Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) over his comments on the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt, which is widely believed to have been masterminded by the movement of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.
Germany’s foreign intelligence service chief, Bruno Kahl, on March 18 said the Turkish government has failed to convince BND that Gülen was behind the thwarted coup, which received a harsh response from Kalın on March , who said Germany was supporting the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).
“It is a very noteworthy scene of who backs FETÖ. When was the last time you heard a BND head making a statement? It is very rare. The fact that the head of the German intelligence is making a statement about this is something that should be read in multiple ways,” Kalın told Doğan TV Ankara representative Hakan Çelik in a live interview on CNNTürk, as he added that Kahl’s statements “are an operation to acquit FETÖ in Europe.”
“This is a move to invalidate the notes and pressures we made to Europe and the U.S. on FETÖ. This is a sign that the German state will back FETÖ the same way it backs the PKK [outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party] in indirect ways. Plenty of FETÖ fugitives are in Germany already. Is there a possibility that the German intelligence doesn’t know where these guys are, what they’re doing and with whom they are meeting? Then why are they protecting them? It means that they are convenient instruments that they will use against Turkey,” he added.
Saying that “something called the EU intelligence agency’s report” was leaked to the press nearly two months ago, he noted that it said “there are no persuasive evidences that the attempted coup was staged by FETÖ.”
“Who are these EU intelligence agencies? Let’s say that it’s something that was prepared by 10 EU countries. How can you prepare this report without consulting the Turkish intelligence? It is clear that you want to mold public opinion by leaking it to the press. It is still unclear who prepared and leaked the report,” he said.
Relations between Turkey and Germany have deteriorated to a low point after the latter decided to ban Turkish ministers from holding meetings in the country for the April 16 referendum, which will decide whether the current parliamentary system should be shifted into an executive presidency.
While saying that the Turkish government did not convince the BND, Kahl added that he did not believe the Turkish government was behind the failed coup.
“The coup attempt was not initiated by the government. Before July 15, 2016 the government had already started a big purge so parts of the military believed they should stage a coup quickly before it hit them too,” Kahl said.
Asked whether the Gülen movement was “extreme Islamist or terrorist,” Kahl said it was a “civil association that aims to provide further religious and secular education.”