Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said that European intelligence agencies co-opt members of the Turkish press to undermine Turkey and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Speaking to BuzzFeed News during his visit to the Slovakian capital Bratislava to participate in the Global Security Forum on May 26, Çavuşoğlu said, "The secret services of those countries are using journalists and bloggers in Turkey." He added, "This is the new trend in Europe."
Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu also said that Turkish-German dual citizen Deniz Yücel, who was arrested on Feb. 14 on charges of publishing terrorist propaganda and inciting the public to violence, is working for the German intelligence agency (BND). "I shared this information with Germans that he was working for the secret service of Germany," Çavuşoğlu said.
The matter of Yücel, who is under arrest pending trial for propaganda in support of the PKK, and Yücel's arrest, was also brought to the agenda by the German side during President Erdoğan's meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel that took place on the sideline of the NATO summit in Brussels on May 25. Providing information about his meeting with Merkel, President Erdoğan told reporters on May 26 that there are many other cases similar to Yücel.
"I told her [Angela Merkel] there were many 'Deniz' cases that should be considered. They have applied for asylum in Germany. First give us the results of 4,500 pending requests. Just recently, Germany granted asylum to terrorist officers. We asked Merkel to hand them over to us. Predictably, we did not get a satisfactory response," Erdoğan said.
Last week, the Foreign Ministry said that the U.S. ambassador to Ankara was summoned to protest police handling of violent pro-PKK protesters in front of the Turkish embassy in Washington, D.C. during President Erdoğan's May 16 visit. Days after this incident the New York Times reviewed videos and photos to track the actions of 24 men, including President Erdoğan's security detail that responded to the violent pro-PKK protesters. Commenting on the NY Times' report, Çavuşoğlu said, ‘‘I saw [the report in the] New York Times," adding, "I know why they are doing this."
"They have been attacking Turkey and Erdoğan for two years, and we know who is behind this," he said. ‘‘FETÖ leader Fetullah Gülen and terrorist acolytes are sponsoring this kind of anti-Turkey and anti-Erdoğan coverage," Çavuşoğlu added.
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