“Striking increase” in Turkish intelligence activities in Germany – Deutsche Welle

German government data has shown a marked increase in activities by Turkey’s National Intelligence Organisation (MİT) in Germany, the German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle, or DW, quoted local news sources as saying on Friday.

DW quoted the German daily Die Welt’s report on the rise in German federal prosecutor’s investigations into suspected espionage activities by MİT, which was revealed with the response to a question posed by the liberal Free Democratic Party.

The Public Prosecutor of Germany said that out of 23 investigations into MİT activities in the last 10 years, 17 had been started in the last two years alone.

 MİT had been known for its pursuit abroad of the outlawed radical Marxist Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front and outlawed militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Since a failed coup in 2016, it has stepped up its pursuit of members of the Gülen religious movement that it holds responsible for the coup attempt.

Another German newspaper, Der Tagesspiegel, reported that the German government feared MİT agents could infiltrate German state institutions, including the security and intelligence services.

The Turkish government has a considerable interest in Germany, where Turks make up the largest minority group, and the majority of those who voted in the Turkish election supported the ruling party. Additionally, the Turkish state is thought to have an influence on German affairs through the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs, one of Germany’s largest Islamic associations. German intelligence reported in November that they were considering an investigation into reported unconstitutional nationalistic and religious activities at the union’s mosques.