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Thread: 2016 Turkish Coup Attempt

  1. #316
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    The Turkish intelligence agency MIT has handed a list of 500 observation targets in Germany (300 individuals and 200 Gülen-related organizations) over to German counterpart BND, supposedly in an attempt to find support in their activities and sorta make them approved. The attempt to garner such approval follows arrests of several MIT agents in Germany over the past few weeks and months. The list consists of full observation files including in many cases covertly taken photos and such.

    Given recent developments, the BND - or rather, it's head, Bruno Kahl - instead forwarded the list to the government and counter-espionage agencies. Since then the targets have been informed, criminal police and counterespionage is on the lookout and the federal attorney has opened formal investigations - a step that in recent decades was pretty much reserved for the CIA only. Kahl - as head of the BND - is the same guy who previously publicly stated that Germany does not have any evidence whatsoever that the Gülen movement was involved in any way in the coup.

  2. #317
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    The list of observation targets include Michelle Müntefering, wife of former vice chancellor Franz Müntefering and herself both an elected Bundestag rep, chairwoman of the German-Turkish parliamentary committee and member of the foreign affairs parliamentary committee. For political parity there's also a CDU politician on the list.

  3. #318
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    One current line of thinking in security circles in Germany is that MIT might have handed over the list for counter-counter-espionage purposes; i.e. to discover counter-espionage efforts by German domestic intelligence by planting agents with supposed activity on that list, thinking Germany would send counter-espionage teams to evaluate people on the list. This - counter-counter-counter-espionage reasons - is also why most state domestic intelligence services handed the lists - in a simplified format - over to state police forces instead of risking their own staff.

    Walked by a "Hayir!" booth today advertising voting No on the referendum btw. Most Turks in the city don't risk being seen near it. The Kurdish booths not quite advertising for both PKK and Rojava that are usually in the same place tend to have a lot more people attending. And grim-faced, grey-haired Turks across the street watching who steps near those like hawk...err, wolves would probably be the better word.
    Last edited by kato; 29 Mar 17, at 19:13.

  4. #319
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    Relationship between Turkey and Germany is about to take another dip in the next couple days - Turkey has arrested six German human-rights activists within days of arrival in Turkey along with others, including the Turkish director of Amnesty International (claiming they're with Gülen). German foreign minister already grilled the Turkish ambassador for over an hour. Comes on the heel of Turkey denying a visit of the Parliamentary Defense Committee to German soldiers with NATO AWACS stationed in Konya.

    Possible measures currently being discussed would mostly hit the tourist industry; the coup itself already led to German tourist numbers in Turkey dropping from 5.6 to 2.6 million from 2015 to 2016. While there is a travel warning in place, the foreign ministry is discussing upgrading this to equivalent level to Iraq.

  5. #320
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    • Travel advice issued (not a warning yet). Pretty much advises that if traveling to Turkey you can be arrested at random and will not
    • All arms export agreements with Turkey put on hold (not that there are really that many, we're talking 90 million per year)
    • Schäuble has compared Turkey politically with the German Democratic Republic.
    • At least one German TV network has suspended airing advertising for Turkish companies.
    • Government guarantees to companies for exports to Turkey are under review.
    • EU financial aid to Turkey is under review.
    • Addendum: Chief of Domestic Intelligence calls Turkey "an enemy regarding influence operations in Germany" - and backdates that estimation to the coup


    Erdogan in response blasts Turkey for "harboring terrorists".

    Merkel meanwhile went on vacation in Italy, while Gabriel - having interrupted his vacaton - handles the situation on the German side.
    Last edited by kato; 21 Jul 17, at 15:58.

  6. #321
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    • Travel advice issued (not a warning yet). Pretty much advises that if traveling to Turkey you can be arrested at random and will not
    Wording has been modified. Now you'll be particularly targeted for random arresting if you're a dual Turkish-German citizen or have other connections to Turkey. Foreign minister Gabriel further explained that this advisory* is particularly targeted at tourists - Turkish authorities arrested two Germans before boarding their flight home from Antalya on Thursday.

    This also follows Merkel and Schulz both stating in their campaign debate that they'll cancel Turkey's EU candidacy. Merkel today stated in parliament that she wants the German relationship with Turkey "reordered", and that she'll use the October EU summit to talk about Turkey. Guess once the election is over the gloves will be off. Not that they aren't already - Merkel's hand during today's speech:

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    Turkish tabloids are going to British levels right now btw.

    As before in similar affairs (... Trump) Macron is playing buddy with both sides btw. Which he can somewhat surprisingly do despite complaining in the press himself that he "has to talk to Erdogan on the phone every 10 days" these days. As an example why politics "aren't cool".


    * Germany issues travel advisories in far more serious situations than other countries, and only issues travel warnings if a danger to life and limb is proven - currently full travel warnings are only in force for Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. Travel warnings for only parts of a country exist for 17 countries, for example Japan (Fukushima only), Ukraine (Donetsk/Luhansk only) or Mali (war zone north of 14°N only).

  7. #322
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    Four Turkish Military officers have now been granted refugee status in Germany.

    The four are part of the six in this article, foremost Colonel Ilhami Polat who is being accused of masterminding the coup. The other three have not been named.

    So far, 768 Turkish citizens with military or diplomatic passports have sought refuge in Germany. 401 of these have been granted refugee status so far.

    Turkish media have already picked up on Polat's refugee status. Gonna be fun, especially given we currently have Kurds out rallying in the streets anyway.

  8. #323
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    Walked by a "Hayir!" booth today advertising voting No on the referendum btw. Most Turks in the city don't risk being seen near it. The Kurdish booths not quite advertising for both PKK and Rojava that are usually in the same place tend to have a lot more people attending. And grim-faced, grey-haired Turks across the street watching who steps near those like hawk...err, wolves would probably be the better word.
    I find this extremely disturbing. I naively had high hopes for the AKP last decade, that they might evolve into something like a Christian Democratic party in Europe and be a model to other countries in the Islamic world but instead, an autocratic dictatorship was created.

    It's not enough for him to have total control and repress all dissent at home, Erdogan has to expand his autocratic reach into a free democracy, creating a culture of fear among the Turkish expatriate community in Germany.

    I understand that Erdogan has built up a network of thousands of MIT informants in Germany. I don't envy the BND, it seems they are beleaguered in the extreme with these hostile activities by a state that is supposed to be an ally. It must be a very unwelcome distraction considering everything else they have on their plate.

    Whom does the Turkish government consider to be Turkish "enemies abroad" in Germany? At this point, it seems to be anyone who is simply critical of his regime. What does the Turkish government use as leverage against Turkish Germans? Does the Turkish government take action against innocent family members of Turkish Germans living in Turkey? Arbitrary arrests, job loss?

    I look forward to your updates, both here and on other threads. Very enlightening.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 01 Mar 18, at 11:23.

  9. #324
    FreeGeneral Senior Contributor Big K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    ......I naively had high hopes for the AKP last decade,....
    i you remember i warned all from day 1 about them.

    the west should keep it with seculars... but not with Kilicdaroglu...

    CHP needs a new and charismatic leader.

    like Umut Oran perhaps
    Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none; be able for thine enemy rather in power than use; and keep thy friend under thine own life's key; be checked for silence, but never taxed for speech.

  10. #325
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    I understand that Erdogan has built up a network of thousands of MIT informants in Germany. I don't envy the BND, it seems they are beleaguered in the extreme with these hostile activities by a state that is supposed to be an ally. It must be a very unwelcome distraction considering everything else they have on their plate.
    Different agency, BVS is responsible for counterespionage; BND only have a mandate for spying themselves abroad. Newest development in that regard is that apparently MIT is trying to install double agents in BVS, a couple suspected agents were uncovered among job applicants in December; previously there were only e.g. translators known to work for both agencies, this time it's about actual internal staff positions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    What does the Turkish government use as leverage against Turkish Germans? Does the Turkish government take action against innocent family members of Turkish Germans living in Turkey? Arbitrary arrests, job loss?
    Haven't heard anything about action against family members based on support for FETÖ in Germany; if relatives are arrested it's because they're suspected themselves in Turkey. There seems to be some harassing of relatives of those people who appear on watchlists, but that's mostly in the form of frequent "interviews" by law enforcement.
    Leverage against Turkish Germans living in Germany otherwise seems to be mostly in travel restrictions - most Turkish Germans do frequently e.g. visit relatives - and financial restrictions - with regard to money and assets held in Turkey. The same methods that Turkey has for decades applied against Turkish-Germans who dodge the draft in Turkey.

  11. #326
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big K View Post
    i you remember i warned all from day 1 about them.

    the west should keep it with seculars... but not with Kilicdaroglu...

    CHP needs a new and charismatic leader.

    like Umut Oran perhaps
    Do you think it's even possible for another party to win an election in the foreseeable future against the AKP?

    Seems Erdogan is using the same playbook as Putin and United Russia.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 03 Mar 18, at 05:41.

  12. #327
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    http://foreignpolicy.com/2018/03/02/...ostage-taking/

    Turkey’s New Foreign Policy Is Hostage-Taking
    The West knows what Ankara is up to, but won’t call it by its name.

    Turkish hostage-taking has become one of the most pressing problems in relations between Ankara and its Western allies. It is something that everyone knows is happening, but political leaders and diplomats are reluctant to call it by its name.

    The most recent case concerns German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel, who was arrested in Turkey in February 2017 on accusations of propaganda for a terrorist organization. Yucel, a correspondent for Die Welt known for his journalism about Turkey’s crackdown, had written articles based on the hacked emails of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s son-in-law, Energy Minister Berat Albayrak.

    His initial arrest warrant was related to those articles, but after his detention, investigators shifted the focus to his coverage of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), especially an interview he had done with PKK leader Cemil Bayik. After more than a year of imprisonment without charge in Turkey, most of it in solitary confinement, he was released on bail on Feb. 16. He left the country as soon as possible. Once on safe ground in Germany, he posted a video of himself holding a copy of the court order he was given when he left jail. The court, he said, had ordered that his detention be prolonged, not terminated. Like his detention, Yucel’s release had all the marks of a political decision by Turkey’s government.

    Yücel’s release spurred a passionate argument inside Germany about what the government gave up to get Turkey to let him go. Yücel himself had spoken out from prison opposing any “dirty deal” to free him. Did the German government successfully leverage the threat of suspending arms sales to Ankara? Or did it give in to Turkish demands to resume arms sales in order to free a journalist? Whatever the case, the discussion takes for granted the fact that Germany was forced to engage in de facto hostage negotiations with a NATO ally.

    Hostage politics have become so pervasive in Turkey’s relations with the West that when the Syrian Kurdish leader Salih Muslim was detained in Prague last weekend, speculation immediately turned to whether the Czech government would agree to extradite him in exchange for the freedom of two Czechs currently jailed in Turkey for supporting Syrian Kurdish militants. A Czech court released Muslim on Tuesday while the proceedings continue, agreeing to his assurances that he would cooperate with the court while remaining free to travel within the European Union. Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag denounced the court’s move as “very clearly a decision in support of terrorism,” prompting a strongly worded response from the Czech Foreign Ministry.

    These hostage politics are most visible in American-Turkish relations. The fates of several innocent Americans in Turkish custody have become the subject of blunt demands from the Turkish government. The best known among them is Andrew Brunson, a pastor who has lived in Turkey for two decades tending to a small evangelical congregation in Izmir, and who was arrested in October 2016 on vague allegations that he was connected to the July 2016 coup attempt. He remains in prison over a year later. President Erdogan has explicitly made Brunson an object for trade, saying in September that the United States should swap “a pastor for a pastor,” exchanging his arch-enemy Fethullah Gulen, who resides in Pennsylvania, for Brunson. He’s not the only American in Turkish prison: Last month, Serkan Golge, a NASA scientist with dual citizenship swept up in the post-coup attempt crackdown, was sentenced to over seven years in prison.

    This is an unacceptable state of affairs for relations between allies. No citizen of an allied country should have to wonder if Turkey will make their freedom a bargaining chip — and there is currently legislation before Congress that would punish Turkey for this behavior. An amendment to the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS) Appropriations Bill offered by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.) would mandate sanctions for Turkish officials found to have engaged in the wrongful or unlawful prolonged detention of American citizens. The sanctions are simple: They would require that the secretary of state identify the officials, subject to a national security waiver or the use of a classified annex to provide the names to Congress without making them public, and that such officials be denied entry into the United States. This is a clear and logical response to hostage-taking, and should be retained in the omnibus appropriations bill for the current financial year that is now being negotiated.

  13. #328
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    Turkey is indeed turning into the new Pakistan. When is turkey slighted to receive those new F35s again?

  14. #329
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    Quote Originally Posted by citanon View Post
    Turkey is indeed turning into the new Pakistan. When is turkey slighted to receive those new F35s again?
    sorry but i find it offensive.

    no despite erdogan we are still here and we will NOT leave this country!

    plus can you please a bit ASK your potilicians why they are/did act like morons and keep supporting wrong mans?

    like they did in the past by supporting erdogan

    and

    like they are doing right now by supporting YPG?...
    Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none; be able for thine enemy rather in power than use; and keep thy friend under thine own life's key; be checked for silence, but never taxed for speech.

  15. #330
    FreeGeneral Senior Contributor Big K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    Do you think it's even possible for another party to win an election in the foreseeable future against the AKP?

    Seems Erdogan is using the same playbook as Putin and United Russia.
    yes it is quite possible.

    Kilicdaroglu IS a moron also. (or i fear he can be a secret AKP member)

    we need people like Umut Oran.

    Turkish people (the ones who vote for Erdogan) have some very OBVIOUS sensivities...

    Erdogan knows them and uses this knowledge well... the others are morons... this is this simple.

    we need a man who will use a rhetoric just like the Marcus Antonius speech in the Julius Caesar (Marlon Brando version)

    Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none; be able for thine enemy rather in power than use; and keep thy friend under thine own life's key; be checked for silence, but never taxed for speech.

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