Germany guilty of double standards on Turkey, arrests own leakers

Fugitive suspect Can Dundar had controversially participated in a New Year's reception at the German Justice Ministry in Berlin, Jan. 25, 2017.
Fugitive suspect Can Dundar had controversially participated in a New Year's reception at the German Justice Ministry in Berlin, Jan. 25, 2017.

Germany has exposed its double standards on suspects accused of leaking state secrets as it has arrested two German nationals for the alleged crime while Can Dündar, a fugitive suspect sought for leaking confidential state secrets in Turkey, lives in the country

Germany arrested two German nationals, who work in factories that manufacture explosive materials and arms, for allegedly leaking confidential state secrets.

Meanwhile, the country is hosting a fugitive Turkish citizen, Can Dündar, who is being sought by Turkish authorities for espionage and leaking state secrets.

According to Anadolu Agency (AA), which based its report on a German federal prosecutor's statement, the alleged suspects Thomas M., 54, who is a worker at the explosive materials factory, and Martin M., 59, who holds a managerial position in an arms factory, reportedly know each other.

Based on the statement, Thomas M. was in possession of a secret "confidential" draft document on budget planning for the German Defense Ministry. It added that the document contains high-level secrets of the country's security policies and that a copy of the document was given to Martin M. in 2016.After the initial exchange, Martin M. had allegedly distributed a copy of the document to his colleagues at his workplace and upon the emergence of the incident; Martin M.'s employer had informed Germany's federal intelligence authorities.

An investigation has been launched into the matter by the intelligence authorities and the residences of both suspects have been searched.

Both Martin M. and Thomas M. were arrested by a German court on Jan. 26. It is not yet known how Thomas M. initially had access to the document.

While Berlin has shown a high level of sensitivity on the issue of leaking German state secrets, it has ignored a similar case in Turkey. Germany has been a welcoming host to an alleged suspect who fled from Turkey to evade charges of espionage.

Cumhuriyet daily's former Editor-in-Chief Can Dündar has been in Germany receiving a warm welcome by German authorities, despite being sought by Turkish authorities for supporting terror and committing espionage.

Dündar is among the suspects of an espionage case related to publishing confidential footage in the controversial 2014 National Intelligence Organization (MİT) trucks raid. Trucks belonging to MİT were stopped in early January 2014 in the southern Adana province while they were carrying supplies to Turkmens in the Bayırbucak region in northern Syria's Latakia, according to government officials. The raid against the trucks was allegedly carried out by officials linked to the controversial Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) with the purpose of undermining the government's reputation in the international area.

While an investigation on the incident was underway, the Cumhuriyet newspaper – later joined by several other media institutions – unlawfully published footage of the raid and the content found in the raid.

Dündar and Cumhuriyet's Ankara Bureau Chief Erdem Gül were initially arrested on November 26, 2015, but they were later released on March 9, 2016 after a controversial ruling that their rights had been violated.

Dündar, who fled Turkey for Germany in July 2016 while awaiting the outcome of an appeal against a conviction for revealing state secrets, was awarded an honor for "distinguished services" by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo at city hall later that year.

In September 2017, a public prosecutor in the southeastern Diyarbakır province also launched an investigation against Dündar, issuing an arrest warrant; a red notice, and demanding his extradition from Germany on crimes related to propagating for the PKK terrorist group during a conference on April 24, 2016 in Diyarbakır's Bağlar district.

Ankara has long accused Berlin of double standards for its stance on fugitives sought by Turkey, particularly from the PKK, leftist Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), and FETÖ.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said more than 4,500 files have been submitted to the German authorities on alleged terror suspects, however, no legal steps have been taken to address Ankara's demands.

In addition, a large number of FETÖ suspects have sought asylum in Germany after the failed July 15 coup attempt, which left 250 people dead and more than 2,000 injured.

Despite being listed as a terrorist organization by the EU, the U.S., Turkey, and the U.K., the PKK's followers have been able to freely hold mass rallies.

Recently, the sympathizers of the group have increased their attacks on buildings belonging to the Turkish community in Germany. According to the German intelligence agency BfV, there are about 14,000 PKK followers in the country.

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