Tuesday

24th Apr 2018

Germany says Turkey supports terrorist groups

  • Pro-Erdogan rally in Cologne, Germany, two weeks after the failed 15-July coup (Photo: Andreas Trojak)

The German government believes that Turkey finances terrorist organisations such as Hamas and armed Islamist groups in Syria, a leaked document shows.

"The many expressions of solidarity and support actions by the ruling AKP and President Erdogan for the Egyptian MB (Muslim Brotherhood), Hamas and groups of armed Islamist opposition in Syria emphasise their ideological affinity with the (broader) Muslim Brotherhood,” the ministry of interior wrote in reply to a question by left-wing party Die Linke,

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Muslim Brotherhood is an Islamic organisation in Egypt, which came to power when winning elections following the Egyptian revolution in 2012 but was removed in a coup a year later.

It is considered a terrorist organisation by Egypt, but not by the EU and US.

Hamas is an Islamist militant group democratically elected to govern the Gaza Strip, a section of Palestinian territory which lies between Israel and Egypt. It is considered a terrorist organisation by the EU and the United States.

The document also reportedly claims that Ankara has recently deepened its links with these groups, up to becoming "the central hub for Islamist groups in the Middle East region as a result of the gradually Islamicised domestic and foreign policy of Ankara since 2011”.

It also said that a fourth of German nationals who travelled to Syria to join Islamic State or other jihadist groups, the so-called foreign fighters, were of Turkish origin.

The ministry of interior had asked to keep the document secret.

Germany is home to the largest Turkish diaspora in the world with roughly 3 million people of Turkish heritage living in the Bundesrepublik.

But relations between the two counties have soured since the parliament voted to recognise the massacres of Armenians by Turkish Ottoman troops in 1915 as genocide.

They suffered fresh controversy when chancellor Angela Merkel allowed for German comedian Jan Boehmermann to be prosecuted for having insulted Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

They have also deteriorated after the botched coup attempt of 15 July, which Ankara says was masterminded by an elderly Islamic teacher, Fethullah Gulen, living in the US.

Germany condemned the attempt to seize power by military means. But it also fretted that Turkey’s post-coup purge of Gulen loyalists is spreading to German cities.

Gulen-linked businesses in Germany have been pestered by Erdogan supporters. German-based Turkish mosques have also read out a sermon accusing Gulen that was sent to them by a religious authority in Ankara, reporting to the Turkish prime minister’s office.

German politicians of different colours have urged Turkish-German citizens to identify with Germany, rather than Turkey, and not to take part in the purge.

Meanwhile, a poll last week showed that the majority of Germans would like to stop Turkey’s EU membership talks.

Accession talks aside, the EU and Turkey in March struck a deal to curb irregular migration in return for visa-free travel for Turkish nationals and other perks.

Germany's European affairs minister Michael Roth, a Social Democrat, said on Tuesday that it would be difficult to fulfil the five remaining criteria that would grant Turkish citizens visa-free travel to the EU in October, as planned.

But German finance minster Wolfgang Schaeuble, from Merkel’s centre-right CDU party, said that Germany must continue working with Ankara to uphold the migrant deal.

"I absolutely don't like what Erdogan is doing, but I do not think that we should end cooperation with him," Schaeuble said.

"It is in our own interest to keep working together."

Analysis

How the EU helped erode Turkish democracy

By neglecting Turkey for years and by failing to find its own solution on refugees the EU lost leverage on Turkey and finds itself played "like a yoyo" by its hardman leader.

Analysis

New EU party finance rules short circuit accountability

The EU's latest funding rules for European political parties and their think tanks fails to address the underlying problems of abuse. Instead of tackling the loans and donations culture, it has simply made access to EU funds a lot easier.

MEPs set limits to Macron's ambitions

The French president tried to woo the European Parliament but found that his quest for leadership will have to abide by the rules set by the European political groups.

Getting secret EU trilogue documents: a case study

On Thursday, the European Parliament will vote on a political deal on organic farming, following 19 months of behind-closed-doors negotiations. EUobserver here details a five-month odyssey to get access to the secret documents that led to the deal.

News in Brief

  1. Commission will 'not shy away' from Malta killing repercussions
  2. EU Commission opens probe on Alitalia state loan
  3. Paris suspect given 20-year sentence for Brussels shoot-out
  4. Merkel and Pena Nieto praise EU-Mexico trade agreement
  5. Nahles elected new leader of Germany's SPD
  6. Report: EU budget to refocus on South
  7. Audit office: Brexit 'divorce' bill could be billions higher
  8. MEPs urge better protection for journalists

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOxford Professor Calls for an End to the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  2. ACCAPeople Who Speak-Up Should Feel Safe to Do So
  3. Mission of China to the EUProgress on China-EU Cooperation
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersWorld's Energy Ministers to Meet in Oresund in May to Discuss Green Energy
  5. ILGA EuropeParabéns! Portugal Votes to Respect the Rights of Trans and Intersex People
  6. Mission of China to the EUJobs, Energy, Steel: Government Work Report Sets China's Targets
  7. Martens CentreJoin Us at NET@WORK2018 Featuring Debates on Migration, Foreign Policy, Populism & Disinformation
  8. European Jewish CongressKantor Center Annual Report on Antisemitism Worldwide - The Year the Mask Came Off
  9. UNICEFCalls for the Protection of Children in the Gaza Strip
  10. Mission of China to the EUForeign Minister Wang Yi Highlights Importance of China-EU Relations
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersImmigration and Integration in the Nordic Region - Getting the Facts Straight
  12. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMacedonians in Bulgaria Demand to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations

Latest News

  1. Hungary activists defiant after 'Soros Mercenaries' attack
  2. European Commission proposes whistleblower protection law
  3. Secrecy of VW fraud report 'unacceptable', says MEP
  4. 'Strong suspicion' of corruption in Council of Europe assembly
  5. France tightens immigration law, sparking division
  6. ECJ ruling set to end 10-year 'mouth tobacco' lobbying saga
  7. Whistleblowers, Syria and digital revolution This WEEK
  8. MEP friendship groups offer 'backdoor' for pariah regimes

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceThe EIB Needs to Lead by Example on Tax Justice
  2. ILGA EuropeTrans People in Sweden to be Paid Compensation for Forced Sterilisation
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsThe Danger of Standing Up for Justice and Rights in Central Asia
  4. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Must Work Together to Promote Global Steel Sector
  5. Swedish EnterprisesEU Tax Proposal on Digital Services Causes Concern for Small Exporting Economies
  6. European Jewish CongressCondemns the Horrific Murder of Holocaust Survivor Mireille Knoll in Paris
  7. Mission of China to the EUAn Open China Will Foster a World-Class Business Environment
  8. ECR GroupAn Opportunity to Help Shape a Better Future for Europe
  9. Counter BalanceControversial Turkish Azerbaijani Gas Pipeline Gets Major EU Loan
  10. World VisionSyria’s Children ‘At Risk of Never Fully Recovering', New Study Finds
  11. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMeets with US Congress Member to Denounce Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  12. Martens CentreEuropean Defence Union: Time to Aim High?