The skepticism of German intelligence that Fetullah Gülen, leader of the Gülenist terror cult (FETÖ), was behind the failed coup in July, is raising questions about Germany's own possible involvement in the failed putsch, Turkey's Defense Minister Fikri Işık said Sunday.
"Such a [skeptical] statement by Germany's chief of intelligence is raising suspicions about the country and leads to this question: Was the German intelligence behind the coup attempt?" Fikri Işık said in a live interview on Turkish broadcaster Kanal 7.
"Turkey has tried on different levels to convince us of that, but they have not succeeded," Federal Intelligence Service (BND) head Bruno Kahl told the German weekly Der Spiegel on Saturday.
Turkey has submitted evidence of the FETÖ coup plot to governments worldwide, including Germany and the U.S., and urged them to eliminate FETÖ institutions in their own countries and extradite suspects linked to the terror cult.
Işık rebuffed Kahl's remarks, saying, "It's not right to say, 'We are not convinced,' it should be, 'We don't want to be convinced'."
Işık said certain circles in Europe appear to be unhappy that the bloody coup attempt had not succeeded.
"If the German intelligence chief says, 'We are not convinced that FETÖ is behind the coup attempt,' then he must be either blind, deaf, or he needs to hide the plotters because they failed in what they wished to happen."
"Did you cooperate with them? What was your position in this coup plot exactly?" Minister Işık further questioned.
In a similar appearance, Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalın told CNN Turk on Sunday that Kahl's remarks are "quite noteworthy to show who is supporting FETÖ."
Kalın added that the statements are "an attempt to whitewash FETÖ."
The controversy follows after Turkish officials said that Germany supports terrorism by allowing the terrorist PKK to hold marches while blocking Turkish government ministers from holding public rallies there ahead of Turkey's April 16 constitutional referendum.
FETÖ, led by U.S.-based former preacher Fetullah Gülen, sought to topple the Turkish government and seize power on July 15. The coup attempt was prevented by loyal military troops, as well as police units and millions of Turkish citizens. 246 people, mainly civilians, were killed by Putschist soldiers, while more than 2,000 people were injured.
After the deadly coup attempt, hundreds of military officers who joined the junta loyal to FETÖ were arrested, and the army dismissed thousands of others with links to the terrorist group who had infiltrators in the military, law enforcement, judiciary and bureaucracy.
Meanwhile, Turkish opposition parties united against the coup attempt and condemned it sharply. They emphasized their determination to maintain democracy and the rule of law in Turkey.