First Published: 2017-03-19

Turkey slams German spy chief for Gulen coup link scepticism
Turkey lashes out after Germany's intelligence chief said he was unconvinced that US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen was behind failed coup.
Middle East Online

Isik told Kanal 7 television that Kahl's remarks were a "most unfortunate statement"

ANKARA - Turkey lashed out Sunday after Germany's intelligence chief said he was unconvinced by Turkish assertions US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen was behind the failed coup of July 15.

Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Europe was seeking to "whitewash" Gulen's group, while Defence Minister Fikri Isik said the comments raised questions about whether Berlin itself was involved in the putsch.

In an interview with Der Spiegel published on Saturday, Germany's foreign intelligence chief Bruno Kahl said Ankara had repeatedly tried to convince Berlin that Gulen was behind the coup "but they have not succeeded".

Turkey accuses Gulen of heading a group called the Fethullah Terror Organisation (FETO) which masterminded the coup with the aim of ousting Erdogan from power.

"This is an operation to whitewash FETO in Europe," Kalin told CNN-Turk television of Kahl's claims.

And Isik told Kanal 7 television that Kahl's remarks were a "most unfortunate statement".

Some Turkish officials mooted the idea that Western powers could have been involved in the coup and Isik suggested Kahl's comment would raise questions about Germany's role.

"The fact that the head of German intelligence made such a statement will increase doubts about Germany and give rise to the question 'was German intelligence behind the coup?'" he said.

Isik said German politicians must address the matter or risk questions arising over Berlin's possible role in the coup.

Following the putsch, Ankara launched an unprecedented purge of alleged Gulen supporters, with some 43,000 people jailed and awaiting, or on, trial.

Kahl said that the coup was launched by "a part of the military" who expected trouble from government purge which was already under way beforehand.

Tensions are already running high between Berlin and Ankara after German authorities refused to allow some Turkish ministers to campaign in the country for a "yes" vote ahead of the April 16 referendum on handing Erdogan an executive presidency.

 

Iraq Kurds start voting in historic independence referendum

Erdogan threatens Iraqi Kurds with border closure, oil block

US-led strikes killed 84 civilians near Syria's Raqa

Iran shuts border with Iraqi Kurdistan

Dubai set to become first city with flying taxis

UAE announces plans for region’s first nuclear reactor

Putin to visit Erdogan this week for Syria, Iraq talks

Sudan vows to step up efforts to improve US ties

Turkey to launch intervention into Syria — and maybe into Iraq

Egyptian ‘world’s heaviest woman’ dies in Abu Dhabi

Palestinian unity government remains unlikely

Emirati man fights his employer to serve in country’s army

Palestinian PM to visit Gaza next week

Saudi advisory body to tackle female driving ban

Turkey denies closing Iraqi border in response to Kurdish vote

US air strikes kill 17 Islamic State militants in Libya

Yemen's Hadi says military solution 'most likely'

The high cost of Syria’s destruction

Palestinian negotiator awaits lung transplant in US

Kurds ready for contentious vote in Iraq

A Kurdish state: Reality or utopia?

Saudi intercepts missile fired from Yemen

Saudi Arabia marks national day with fireworks, concerts

Iran defies US, tests missile

Turkey warns of 'security' steps in response to Iraqi Kurd vote

Barzani delays Kurdish independence vote announcement

Syria's war off the radar at UN assembly

For many Iraqis, tradition trumps police

Darfur clashes kill 3 as Bashir urges reconciliation

Saudi cleric banned for saying women have ‘quarter’ brain

Veteran Syrian activist, daughter assassinated in Istanbul

Tunisia drops forced anal exams for homosexuality

Bomb used in Saudi-led strike on Yemen children US-made

Syria Kurds vote to cement federal push

Police charge teenager over London Underground attack

Nigerian official to meet Turkish counterpart over illegal guns

Thousands feared trapped in Raqa as IS mounts last stand

Iraqi forces achieve first step in new offensive on IS

Migrant boat sinks off Turkish Black Sea coast leaving four dead, 20 missing

Trump praises 'friend' Erdogan

Yemen leader promises UN to open entire country to aid

Rouhani vows Iran will boost missiles despite US criticism

Russia clashes with EU over Syria

UN Security Council warns against holding Iraqi Kurd vote

UN sets up probe of IS war crimes in Iraq