Turks, German charged in Berlin over spying for Turkey
Federal prosecutors in Germany have charged two Turks and a German with spying on critics of the Turkish government.
According to a statement issued Thursday, two Turks identified as Muhammed Taha G., 58, and Ahmet Duran Y., 59, and German Goksel G., 34, are charged with spying on critics of Turkey, including minority Kurds.
The three suspects have reportedly been involved in gathering information on the German residents between February 2013 and December 2014 and sending it to the Turkish secret service.
In keeping with the German privacy laws, the last names of the suspects were not disclosed.
According to the statement, Muhammed Taha G., who is believed to be the leader of the group, has been in custody since December 17, 2014. The two others remain free, the statement said without setting any date for their trial.
The case began on December 17, 2014, when Taha and Duran were arrested upon their arrival in Germany’s Frankfurt airport while the German national was nabbed at his home in North Rhine-Westphalia.
After the arrest were made, Germany’s highest circulating newspaper Bildquoted an unknown intelligence officer in the country as saying that the controversial spying activities were closely supervised by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
According to the officer, Erdoğan wants to spy on anyone who opposes him as well as members of the faith-based Hizmet movement and outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) members. The report also described Muhammed Taha G. as a high-ranking member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and very close to Erdoğan.
Ankara has denied any link to the alleged spies, accusing the PKK of having a major hand in the dossier.