German domestic intelligence spies on Turkish NGO

Published 25.07.2018 21:13

The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), Germany's domestic intelligence agency, considers the Union of European Turkish Democrats (UETD) an organization that is against the constitutional order of Germany and is closely following its movements, a German spy chief said.

The German intelligence agency released its yearly report earlier this week. Head of the BfV, Hans Georg Maassen, said the UETD is against the German Constitution and will remain under the surveillance of the German domestic intelligence.

"We consider the UETD a group that is incompatible with the constitutional order of liberal, democratic principles," he said. When asked about whether they are being watched and closely observed, he said yes.

"The Turkish diaspora organization ‘Union of European Turkish Democrats' based in Cologne strongly supports the interests of the Turkish government in Germany and Europe. It is the unofficial foreign organization of the Turkish ruling party, the Justice and Development Party [AK Party]," the BfV report said.

The German intelligence agency said in addition, the UETD organized several election campaign events attended by leading AK Party ministers in Germany.

"The UETD is a Turkish-dominated, state-related government-related association which has established itself according to German association law," it said.

However, the BfV argues now that the UETD is an organization that is against the German Constitution. The BfV 2017 report went on to say that, "In fact, it is by no means an independent advocacy group for Turkish migrants, but rather a pro-governmental organization of the AK Party which, in the interests of its parent organization, lobbies for the interests of the AK Party on a political and social level." It also asserted that the UETD could influence German politics. "Indirectly, it is also possible to influence political decision-making processes in Germany," the report said.

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