Turkey: MIT unsheathes its sword abroad chasing dissidents

A few days before the Berlin Conference, when the USA’s execution of General Soleimani was fresh news, something did not go public. Turkish President Erdogan announced the intensification of Turkish intelligence services activities abroad rather than domestically.

Turkey is likely to hire people in Germany who will even kill dissident targets. Behind Erdogan’s German invitation to Berlin is the relentless world of secret agencies.

“It’s not completely impossible that such a thing could happen,” Kristian Brakel, Istanbul head of the Berlin-based think tank the Heinrich Böll Foundation, told Ahval in a podcast. “We’ve seen other countries such as Russia ramping up assassinations abroad, including in Germany.”

Erdogan has repeatedly stated that some 10,000 “Turkish terrorists” are allowed to move freely in Germany. Erdogan’s main targets are the Gulenists and of course the PKK Kurds, with whom Turkey has been at war since 1984.

But Berlin can do nothing to persecute the thousands of Kurdish activists and Gulenists who uphold German law. At the same time, Erdogan is determined to launch a cycle of extermination operations such as those that killed the head of the Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The Turks have said, for example, that they know where the Gulenist academic Adil Öksüz who they say is believed to have coordinated the 2016 coup attempt. He is said to be hiding somewhere in Europe.

Alexander Clarkson, lecturer for German and European Studies at King’s College London, saw a growing belief within German security services that MIT would hire local operatives, such as Turkish biker gangs, for some sort of violent operation, in order to be able to deny responsibility.

“This wouldn’t be the first time,” Clarkson told Ahval in a podcast, pointing out that MIT was extremely active in Germany in the 1980s and 90s, targeting the PKK and Kurdish activists. “There’s a long tradition of this, hiring local groups, sending operatives, using disinformation.”

sources: Ahval, SLPress