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Europe must stand up to Erdogan

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After the failed coup in Turkey on July 15, 2016, the country's MIT intelligence service became very active in its search for "enemies of the country" even beyond Turkey's borders. Accusations that the Turkish government runs secret prisons where supporters of the Gulen movement are tortured are not new, these rumors have surfaced again and again over the past two years.

Western reluctance

Turkish media regularly describe arrests abroad of Gulen supporters as successful accomplishments, while the government virtually flaunts its secret service's activities. Researching the practices of the Turkish secret service and following leads is any independent journalist's job. We can rest assured that Western secret services have long had this very information.

But what happens with this information? What do the western countries that clearly know about these practices do? The answer is obvious: Nothing!

NATO member Turkey supposedly runs torture prisons, abducts alleged "traitors" all over the world and the MIT increasingly acts abroad. However, instead of taking a clear stand and openly addressing these issues, the German government continues its "steady hand diplomacy."

March 31, 2016: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan filed charges against German comedian and satirist Jan Böhmermann over his "defamatory poem" about the Turkish leader. German prosecutors eventually dropped the charges on October 4, 2016, but the case sparked a diplomatic row between Berlin and Ankara.

June 2, 2016: The resolution passed almost unanimously. In response, Turkey recalled its ambassador in Berlin and Germany's Turkish community held protests in several German cities. Turkey had repeatedly criticized the use of the term genocide to describe the Ottoman-era Armenian killings, arguing that the number of deaths had been inflated, and that Turkish Muslims also perished in the violence.

July 15, 2016: A faction of the Turkish military tried to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, but ultimately failed. Ankara accused Berlin of not taking a clear stand against the coup attempt or not doing anything about exiled preacher Fethullah Gulen's organization, who Erdogan blames for orchestrating the failed coup.

Immediately following the attempted coup, Turkish authorities purged the army and judiciary, detaining thousands of people. The purge expanded to include civil servants, university officials and teachers. German politicians criticize the detentions. Turkish diplomats, academics and military members fled the country and applied for asylum in Germany.

Erdogan's post-coup crackdown has also been condemned........

© Deutsche Welle