Turkish lawmaker denies financing Turkish-German gang

A ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party deputy on Friday described accusations by a German news channel against him as a “plot by Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETÖ),” pro-government Turkish newspaper Yeni Şafak wrote

Metin Külünk, the AKP deputy in question, was implicated in a news programme on German TV channel ZDF for allegedly providing money to Osmanen Germania, a boxing gang, to intimidate Erdoğan’s critics.

Osmanen Germania has about 1,500 members, most of them have Turkish origins, ZDF said.

Külünk denied accusation and said these accusations aim to subject Turks in Europe “to a cultural genocide.”

Turkey blames the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen of attempting to overthrow Turkish government, and calls its network of followers “FETÖ” as a “terrorist organisation.” Gülen denies these accusations.

ZDF wrote that German prosecutors have surveillance evidence on Külünk purportedly delivering money to the group, and also have a recorded phone conversation of Erdoğan allegedly instructing the group to stop Kurds and Armenians, who are minority groups in Turkey, protesting the Ankara government in Berlin.

A German Interior Minister spokesman was quoted by ZDF as saying that they are looking into “involvement of Turkish state authorities in intelligence activities or influence operations.”