A lack of response from the German government to a parliamentary question about the government’s relationship with the Gülen organization has prompted heavy criticism from the Left Party.
The Left Party had submitted a parliamentary question about the government’s collaboration with a proxy of the Gülen organization, Ankara’s main suspect for the botched coup of 2016.
The government had responded, saying that the issue directly affected the operation of intelligence agencies and hence could not be shared with the public.
“If a parliamentary question about the German government’s relation and cooperation with the Gülen movement is responded to with intelligence agencies’ interests in mind, warning bells are ringing in my ears,” said Left Party lawmaker Ulla Jelpke.
Jelpke noted that the government’s response implied a collaboration with the Gülen organization on an intelligence level and that it appears as though Berlin is keeping ties with the Gülen network warm as a means to infiltrate Turkish politics after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s rule.
“The German government wants the exclusive information this network has obtained through illegal means and decades of infiltrating the Turkish government,” Jelpke said.
Jelpke also noted that “considering decades of crime” that the organization was involved in for a long time, she sees no particular reason to support the Gülen organization.
Source of the parliamentary question
The parliamentary question was prompted by news that the government would give 10 million euros to a Berlin project named “House of One” for a house of worship for the three biggest monotheistic religions.
The Islamic branch of the project would be taken on by “active dialogue initiative” Forum Dialog, an organization that follows Gülenist values.
The Gülen network was deemed a terrorist organization following the botched coup of 2016 and labelled as “Fetullahist Terror Organization” (FETÖ) by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.
The German government’s reluctance to extradite key Gülenist suspects to Turkey has been a source of tension between Berlin and Ankara in recent years.
Since the 1990s, Gülenists have managed to build a large network in Germany, and the group claims to have around 70,000 followers in the country.
Around 14,000 people that Ankara suspects is tied to Gülen’s network have also arrived in the country after the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey.