Several documents marked “secret” which were obtained by Nordic Monitor have revealed details of illegal surveillance activities of critics based in Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden carried out by Turkey’s intelligence services.
The documents, dated 19 March 2019, show that Turks resident in the countries have been closely monitored due to their critical views of the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The intelligence was used by Turkish authorities to initiate criminal prosecutions against critics, prepare extradition requests and file Interpol notices.
Turkey has been accused of abusing Interpol’s law enforcement mechanisms to silence Erdoğan critics from all segments of Turkish society. According to related reports, Turkey had sought Red Notices for around 60,000 individuals in 2016. Turkish police have also been accused of manipulating Interpol’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (STLD) database for political purposes, filing fraudulent missing, lost or revoked passports and travel documents to invalidate the papers of critics and opponents of the Turkish government.
Consequently, Interpol prohibited the use of its communications channels to interact on any issue that concerned the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey because it contravened the provisions of Article 3 of Interpol’s constitution. Article 3 “strictly forbids the Organization to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.”
Critics of the Erdoğan government, especially members of the Gülen movement, have been facing surveillance, harassment, threats of death and abduction since at least 2014, when then-Prime Minister and now President Erdoğan began to suspect the group of being involved in plots to overthrow the government. In turn, Erdoğan’s critics accuse him and State officials of inventing false plots and filing fraudulent charges against opponents to cover up or distract media attention from their own errors and troubles, ranging from claims of widespread corruption (including among the president’s family and closest political and business associates) to Turkey’s dangerous and disastrous decision to support of at least some of the terrorist groups that have been ravaging the northern parts of Syria.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- ISIS Terrorists Attack Syrian Army Near Al-Sukhna
- Ukraine Delivers Air Defense Systems To Turkey, Through Shady Deal