Turkey collects information on exiled Kurdish politician after German embassy lawyer detention

Turkish authorities have obtained information on a former deputy of the predominantly Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), after the detention of a Turkish lawyer working for the German embassy in the capital of Ankara on suspicion of espionage, Mezopotamya news agency reported on Monday.

The asylum application file of HDP’s Leyla Birlik was collected after Turkish authorities detained a lawyer commissioned by the German embassy to prepare reports on individuals who applied for asylum in Germany, accusing him of acting against Turkey’s national interests.

The German government is concerned that the Turkish authorities have gathered sensitive information about 50 asylum seekers from Turkey, including some important Kurdish activists and supporters of Gülen movement, which Ankara accuses of masterminding the 2016 failed coup, according to Der Spiegel.

Furthermore, German authorities have informed the former HDP deputy that Turkish intelligence, MIT, obtained information about her asylum process following the detention.

"Officials from the German Ministry of the Interior came to me and told me that my asylum file was in the hands of the MIT and that my security of life was in danger," Birlik said.

German officials also told Birlik that Turkish intelligence gathered sensitive information on 69 asylum seekers from Turkey, Mezopotamya said.