Germany declines Turkey’s request to freeze FETÖ assets, Spiegel reports

DAILY SABAH WITH REUTERS
ISTANBUL
Published 02.09.2017 17:20
Updated 02.09.2017 17:49
Reuters Photo
Reuters Photo

Germany has rejected a formal request from Turkey to freeze assets of members of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), which orchestrated last year's failed coup, Germany's Spiegel magazine reported on Saturday.

Without naming its sources, the magazine said the Turkish government had asked the German Foreign Ministry in Berlin at the end of April to freeze the assets of FETÖ and its members in Germany. It attached a list with 80 names, it said.

The German government officially rejected the request at the end of June, telling Ankara there were "no legal grounds" for Germany's financial watchdog BaFin to crack down on the terror group and its supporters, the report said.

The Foreign Ministry in Berlin declined to comment.

The report also suggested that the number of Turkish extradition requests sent to Germany had increased to 53 since the beginning of the year, already exceeding the total in the whole of 2016.

On July 15, a small military junta linked to FETÖ attempted to topple the democratically elected president and government in Turkey and impose martial law. The attempt was prevented by military troops loyal to the government, along with police units and millions of Turkish citizens in favor of democracy.

A total of 250 people, consisting of mostly civilians, were killed by pro-coup soldiers, while over 2,000 people were injured.

Ankara singles out Germany among European countries for embracing some 250 fugitive diplomats and soldiers accused of involvement in the coup with suspected links to FETÖ. A report titled "The FETÖ Settlement in Germany and Germany's FETÖ Policy," says that FETÖ has been using Germany as its main functioning center and that German authorities have embraced the structures of the group with open arms.

Unconfirmed reports say that about 4,000 FETÖ suspects left for Germany after the coup attempt, while several suspects, including former military officers and diplomats accused of involvement in the coup attempt, applied for asylum.

Germany's uncooperative stance with regard to FETÖ has been a source of recent tension between Ankara and Berlin.

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