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.

 

At least 235 killed in Egypt mosque attack

Saudi Crown Prince calls Iran supreme leader 'new Hitler'

Syrian opposition agrees to send united delegation to Geneva talks

Saudi-led coalition clears passenger flights to Sanaa

Baghdad's Shabandar cafe marks century since opening

Turkey says Trump pledged to stop arming Kurds

Turkey president sues main opposition party leader

Lebanon's Hariri brings status quo back with him

Activists say 'everybody knew' about Libya slave trade

Erdogan says no contact 'at the moment' with Assad

Lebanon's Jumblatt criticises Saudi Arabia, Iran

China says it will make efforts on Syria reconstruction

Turkey to detain 79 former teachers in post-coup probe

Hezbollah hails PM's suspension of resignation

Syrian opposition aims for unity at talks in Riyadh

Egypt police kill 3 Islamists in shootout

Turkey unsure if Assad to be part of Syria political transition

Migrant arrivals from Libya down since EU deal

Palestinian factions leave Cairo talks with little progress

Sudan’s Bashir looks to Putin for ‘protection’ from US aggression

China, Djibouti forge 'strategic' ties

IS propaganda channels fall quiet in 'unprecedented' hiatus

Kremlin to create Syria congress despite Turkey ‘reservations’

Netanyahu berates deputy minister for 'offensive' remarks on US Jews

Egypt PM heads to Germany for medical treatment

Egypt destroys 10 SUVs carrying arms on Libya border

Outrage in Iraq over 'child marriage' bill

Iraq launches operation to clear last IS holdouts from desert

Saudi-led coalition to reopen Yemen airport, port to aid

Turkey court rules to keep Amnesty chief in jail

France calls for UN meeting on Libya slave-trading

Egypt detains 29 for allegedly spying for Turkey

WTO panel to hear Qatar’s complaint against UAE blockade

Three dead as diphtheria spreads in Yemen

Lebanon’s Hariri suspends resignation

Israel seizes explosive material at Gaza border

Activists call for release of UK journalist held by IS

Bahrain upholds jail sentence for activist

Iraq attacks at lowest since 2014

Turkey continues crackdown in post-coup probe

Hariri back in Lebanon

Putin to hold Syria peace talks with Erdogan, Rouhani

US carries out air strikes against IS in Libya

Divided Syria opposition meets in Riyadh

Lebanon's Hariri in Egypt ahead of return home