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Ankara suspects German intel using Gülen network

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In an interview with Der Spiegel magazine, Bruno Kahl, the chief of Germany’s foreign intelligence service, the BND, said on March 18 that the Turkish government had “failed to convince” them that the U.S.-based Islamist cleric Fethullah Gülen was behind the coup attempt of July 15, 2016.

He said the BND did not think that the coup attempt was something staged by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Parti) government either, without elaborating who else might be behind it.

Kahl described the Gülen “movement” as a “civil association that aims to provide further religious and secular education” despite the Turkish government (and also the opposition) designation of it as a secret “terrorist” network aimed at overthrowing the government by use of military means.

In an interview with Kanal 7, Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Işık responded to those words on March 19, saying: “He [Kahl] must be both blind and deaf for not being able to see the [Gülenist] role. That brings questions to mind as to whether [the BND] was cooperating [with Gülenists] and whether they had a part in [the coup attempt].”

İbrahim Kalın, President Tayyip Erdoğan’s spokesman, said in an interview with CNN Türk that Kahl’s statement showed that the German administration was “backing” the Fethullahists in the search for “instruments” it was “planning to use against” Turkey. “A lot of members of the Fethullahist Terror Organization [FETÖ] who are wanted in Turkey are now in Germany already,” he added.

The incident has added to a pile of problems between the two

© Hürriyet Daily News