The German Federal Prosecutor’s Office has initiated 11 preliminary investigations into suspected spies for Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) in 2017, according to media reports.
Nineteen such investigations have been launched in the past five years.
In response to a question from the Left Party, the prosecutor’s office said 11 investigations were launched into alleged MIT spies in Germany this year. While the office did not elaborate on the number of suspected MIT agents in the country, there are reportedly around 6,000 MIT employees and informants across Germany.
Left Party Deputy Chairman Sevim Dagdelen said the investigations were only “the tip of the iceberg.”
Turkish government has launched a sweeping crackdown on all opposition circles in the aftermath of a July 15, 2016 failed coup. More than 55,000 people have been arrested and thousands have fled Turkey to seek refuge elsewhere.
German weekly Der Spiegel said in March that the Turkish government has been spying on its own citizens in 35 countries with the help of its diplomatic missions.
“The request to compile the files came directly from Ankara. On Sept. 20, 2016, the Turkish government’s religious agency, Diyanet, sent out an order asking” for detailed reports about organizational structures, activities and educational institutions of the suspected groups, Der Spiegel said. (Turkey Purge)