The German television channel ZDF released a documentary earlier this month that presented new evidence about espionage in Germany carried out against opponents and critics of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The documentary, entitled “How Erdoğan’s critics are exposed to espionage in Germany“, revealed evidence that the espionage is still being done by the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DİTİB) in Germany on behalf of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organisation (MİT)
According to the documentary, the Turkish intelligence agency relies heavily on Turkish mosques operating under DİTİB’s umbrella. DİTİB is Germany’s largest Islamic organisation, and it operates more than 900 mosques located in Germany’s 16 states.
In its documentary, the German channel interviewed Turkish citizens who fled to Germany after the failed coup attempt against Erdoğan in 2016. Exiled Turks living in Germany said that they have been subjected to direct threats from imams of DİTİB mosques due to their criticism of Erdoğan and his government.
In an interview with the channel, Elinal Özil, a young Turkish man who sought refuge in Germany after the coup attempt for fear of arbitrary arrest due to his political activities, said he was under direct threat from Erdoğan’s supporters in Germany.
Özil lives with his family in a small town near to the German city of Kassel, and he sometimes visited the nearby mosque to pray until the imam stopped him and threatened him after saying he knew that he belonged to a group that opposed Erdoğan.
Özil said that he was not expecting to feel fear again after he left Turkey for Germany, especially as he was hoping for a new life full of security and stability in his new country.
Read more: ahval