First Published: 2017-03-19

Turkey slams German spy chief for Gulen coup link scepticism
Turkey lashes out after Germany's intelligence chief said he was unconvinced that US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen was behind failed coup.
Middle East Online

Isik told Kanal 7 television that Kahl's remarks were a "most unfortunate statement"

ANKARA - Turkey lashed out Sunday after Germany's intelligence chief said he was unconvinced by Turkish assertions US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen was behind the failed coup of July 15.

Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Europe was seeking to "whitewash" Gulen's group, while Defence Minister Fikri Isik said the comments raised questions about whether Berlin itself was involved in the putsch.

In an interview with Der Spiegel published on Saturday, Germany's foreign intelligence chief Bruno Kahl said Ankara had repeatedly tried to convince Berlin that Gulen was behind the coup "but they have not succeeded".

Turkey accuses Gulen of heading a group called the Fethullah Terror Organisation (FETO) which masterminded the coup with the aim of ousting Erdogan from power.

"This is an operation to whitewash FETO in Europe," Kalin told CNN-Turk television of Kahl's claims.

And Isik told Kanal 7 television that Kahl's remarks were a "most unfortunate statement".

Some Turkish officials mooted the idea that Western powers could have been involved in the coup and Isik suggested Kahl's comment would raise questions about Germany's role.

"The fact that the head of German intelligence made such a statement will increase doubts about Germany and give rise to the question 'was German intelligence behind the coup?'" he said.

Isik said German politicians must address the matter or risk questions arising over Berlin's possible role in the coup.

Following the putsch, Ankara launched an unprecedented purge of alleged Gulen supporters, with some 43,000 people jailed and awaiting, or on, trial.

Kahl said that the coup was launched by "a part of the military" who expected trouble from government purge which was already under way beforehand.

Tensions are already running high between Berlin and Ankara after German authorities refused to allow some Turkish ministers to campaign in the country for a "yes" vote ahead of the April 16 referendum on handing Erdogan an executive presidency.

 

UN Security Council warns against holding Iraqi Kurd vote

Syria Kurds vote to cement federal push

Rouhani vows Iran will boost missiles despite US criticism

Yemen leader promises UN to open entire country to aid

Gemstone purchase essential for Najaf pilgrims

Saudi cleric banned for saying women have ‘quarter’ brain

Veteran Syrian activist, daughter assassinated in Istanbul

Tunisia drops forced anal exams for homosexuality

Bomb used in Saudi-led strike on Yemen children US-made

Police charge teenager over London Underground attack

Nigerian official to meet Turkish counterpart over illegal guns

Thousands feared trapped in Raqa as IS mounts last stand

Iraqi forces achieve first step in new offensive on IS

Migrant boat sinks off Turkish Black Sea coast leaving four dead, 20 missing

Trump praises 'friend' Erdogan

Russia clashes with EU over Syria

UN sets up probe of IS war crimes in Iraq

US, Iranian top diplomats confront each other for first time

Air strikes kill 22 civilians in northwest Syria in 48 hours

Iranian supreme leader lashes out at Trump UN speech

Thousands of Huthi supporters mark 3 years since Sanaa takeover

Iraq attacks all remaining IS territory at once

Moscow accuses US of hitting Syrian regime forces

Turkey jails lawyers representing hunger striking teachers

Turkey, Iran and Iraq make joint threat against Kurd vote

Syrian Kurds to hold first local elections in federal push

Qatari expats lauded as statesmen by Arab critics

Shipwreck off Libyan coast leaves over 100 migrants missing

Will Turkey’s opposition to Kurdish state translate into action?

US ups the ante on Iraq Kurds

Macron: Iran nuclear deal no longer enough

Trump’s mind made up on Iran but refuses to divulge

Scores of Iraqis missing during war against ISIS

Netanyahu rejects calls for mixed gender worship at Western Wall

Russia accuses US of missile treaty breach

Iran TV translator mocked for watering down Trump speech

Saudi Arabia hopes Kurdish referendum will not take place

Saudi invites women to sports stadium for first time

Saudi set to create $2.7 billion investment company

Humanitarian disaster grips Yemen three years since Houthi takeover

What will become of Iraq’s Hawija after ISIS?

Multi-ethnic Kirkuk tense ahead of referendum

UN awaits Iran’s defence against Trump nuclear deal threats

US-backed SDF seizes 90% of Syria's Raqa

Man hanged in Iran for rape, murder of child