Despite Turkey's numerous warnings following the deadly coup attempt on July 15, the German government continues its involvement with the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), becoming the headquarters of the terrorist organization at the same time.
German daily Junge Welt reported last Friday that the federal government of Germany is in direct contact with the terrorist organization, referring to Germany as a "Mecca" for the cult. It is stated in the daily that discussions were held on several occasions in the Federal Foreign office with representatives of the Dialogue and Education Foundation (SDuB), which is the official contact point for FETÖ in Germany located in Berlin, although the structures of the foundation were "not transparent," according to the federal government.
Junge Welt also reported that in March 2015 and December 2016 meetings were held with representatives of the SDuB "at a working level" in the Federal Ministry of the Interior, while members of the FETÖ-linked Confederation of Entrepreneurs' Associations (BUV) also held talks "on the exchange of information" at the Federal Foreign office.
Meanwhile, a recent report entitled, "The FETÖ Settlement in Germany and Germany's FETÖ Policy," has revealed 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. The report, published by the Foundation for Social, Political and Economic Research (SETA) advocates that if Germany treats FETÖ the same way it treats the PKK terrorist organization, its relations with Turkey may be forced into a difficult position.
According to the report, Germany is one of the top countries that FETÖ uses as a main center since it has the largest Turkish population outside of Turkey, making the country fertile ground to be ploughed. Further, as Europe's biggest economic power, Germany is beneficial for FETÖ allowing the cult to spread its influence all around Europe. In addition, the German government has even eased the process for the cult to organize events over the years by embracing the structures of FETÖ.
There were 24 schools, 300 associations and 140 after-school courses that were affiliated to FETÖ in Germany. Some of these establishments were forced to cease activities due to decreased enrollment numbers following the failed FETÖ coup of July 15, 2016. The most recently closed school was the Carl-Friedrich Gauß private school in Ludwigsburg. In this way, Turkish parents have shown their solidarity with the victims of the coup and have broken all their contacts with FETÖ.
The report also revealed that prior to the July coup attempt in Turkey, Germany had turned a blind eye to Gülenist activities despite the fact that there had been numerous accusations raised against the group in the German media and criticism from opposition parties regarding FETÖ's anti-democratic structure.
Meanwhile, several FETÖ suspects fled Turkey for Germany after the coup attempt, reportedly including FETÖ-linked prosecutors Zekeriya Öz and Celal Kara. Ankara has requested the extradition of Öz and Kara but has yet to receive a response from Berlin.
FETÖ has long posed as a religious charity movement to attract followers and has managed to recruit members worldwide, establishing a global network of schools and companies on nearly every continent.
Since the coup attempt on July 15, Turkey has worked tirelessly to locate FETÖ members worldwide, focusing on the commercial entities of the terrorist cult. European countries, which have also been accused of harboring supporters of other terrorist groups, have failed to respond to Turkey's extradition requests, unlike Arab and Asian countries that have granted Ankara's extradition requests. Germany is singled out among European countries for embracing some 250 fugitive diplomats and soldiers accused of involvement in the coup with suspected links to FETÖ.
Ankara has vowed to bring all FETÖ suspects to justice in the aftermath of the coup attempt that laid bare just how desperate the terrorist group was to seize power in the face of a crackdown against it.