Europe’s interest in FETÖ

Europe’s interest in FETÖ

The European countries are almost competing with each other for the opportunity to take under their protection the Gülenists who fled from Turkey after the attempted coup d’etat on July 15. One gets the feeling that soon they will start organizing promotions to attract Gülen’s followers and grant them citizenship.

After the failure of the coup d’etat some “prudent” members of the FETÖ went to plan B, they took advantage of the chaos and managed to flee to European countries.

Recently, it turned out that a rather large number of Gülenists fled, the numbers are impressive. Holders of diplomatic, red and green passports, top managers firstly, taking advantage of the privileges of their special documents, went into hiding in Europe, which gladly opened their doors to them. As a result, the majority of those who fled received citizenship and a residence permit. Let’s examine asylum applications made in European countries after the attempted coup.

A sharp increase

According to official data published in open sources, after the attempted coup, the number of requests for asylum in Germany, Great Britain and France increased 4 fold, in Greece – 5 fold, in Sweden – it tripled. In addition, hundreds of Turkish citizens with diplomatic passports applied for asylum in Switzerland, and a group of high-ranking military officers sought asylum in Holland.

The number of applications for asylum in Holland has tripled. Most applicants even got a residence permit.

According to the Dutch government, in 2015 only 56 people applied for asylum from Turkey, in 2016 this number increased to 235. In 8 months of 2017, 309 Turkish citizens applied for asylum in Holland. In 2018, this figure has tripled in total.

An official invitation from Great Britain

The report “Turkey: Gülenism”, prepared by the British Ministry of Internal Affairs and submitted to the government on April 7, 2017, called for the granting of asylum to people entering the country if they confirmed that they were members of the FETÖ.

The report of the Ministry of Internal Affairs contained a recommendation for the granting of the right to asylum to Gülenists who fled from Turkey to the UK after the attempted coup. The report also pointed out that asylum must be granted even if there is suspicion that well-educated members of the media, the army or the judiciary are involved in FETÖ.

An important feature of the report is that the ministry is the only structure in England that has the authority to provide visas and residence permits in the UK.

The report is full of harsh and biased statements, for example, persons who are suspected of being members of the FETÖ or are relatives of a FETÖ member live in “fear of persecution or serious harm from the state”, and they “will not be able to avail themselves o the protection of the authorities”. Alleged “ill-treatment” in the report refers to trial, detention and arrest.

No need to investigate

As is known, people who have applied for asylum in the UK must undergo an identification procedure by Mi-5. However, the report does not say that this procedure is obligatory for Gülenists, which clearly shows England’s interest in attracting them. They are so interested in bringing in FETO members that the country de-facto invites them to settle on its territory.

Quite a report!

The report contains allegations that those who were arrested in Turkey “were accused of ties to the Gülen movement, as opposed to direct participation in the coup attempt itself”, “in May 2016 President Erdogan announced that the Gülen movement was an illegal terrorist organization but this is not yet recognized in law”, and arrested FETÖ members are not allowed to meet with their lawyers. Meanwhile, there is no single document in the text of the report which confirms the above statements. The report also contains the words of the UN speaker regarding the possible use of torture against arrested FETÖ members. However, the report does not indicate later statements by the same speaker that “the fact of torture has not been established”. This also demonstrates just some the extensive bias of the report.

Germany first

In the first 10 months following the attempted coup, 10,000 members of FETÖ applied for asylum in Germany. Thus, the number of asylum applications in Germany increased fourfold.

According to the German Interior Ministry in a document published in October 2018, for the period from January to October 2018, the total number of people who applied for the right of asylum in Germany amounted to 158,512.

According to this data, Turkish citizens ranked fourth after citizens of Syria, Iran and Iraq by the total number of asylum applications. Of the 14,800 people who applied for asylum to the Federal Migration Service (BAMF), 1,206 are Turkish citizens. In August 1243 Turkish applications were registered, in September – 1093.

According to the ministry, every third person who applied for asylum in 2018 has received residence permission in Germany. Of the 186,886 applications that were considered from the beginning of January to the end of October 2018, 33.9 percent of people were granted either refugee status or were allowed to remain in the country, protected from deportation (OR – with a guarantee not to be deported).

The Ministry of Internal Affairs reported that the number of rejected asylum seekers in the first 10 months of 2018 was 65,303, the refusal rate was 35. According to the ministry, 31.1 percent of the appeals were withdrawn or was invalid because these seekers submitted the request to another EU country.

The doors are always open for the PKK

It is a well-established fact that Germany, along with the Gülenists, opened their doors to members of such terrorist organizations as the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHPK-C), Turkish Hezbollah, Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Turkey (MLKP) etc. However, Germany has always denied Turkey accusations, hiding behind “human rights”.

However, recently, the German government was forced to disclose truthful information about how the authorities provided asylum to members of the FETÖ and the PKK.

A parliamentary inquiry demonstrated the reality

German parliamentarians Stephan Thomae, Grigorios Aggelidis, Renata Alt and members of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) sent a parliamentary request to the federal government of Germany.

The German government’s reply was published on the Parliament’s website based on data obtained from official inquiry, and firmly demonstrated the German authorities’  true position towards toward these groups.

When asked which groups and organizations associated with Turkey are being monitored, the government listed the nationalist movement Gray Wolves, the National Look movement, the Turkish Hezbollah, the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Turkey, the Revolutionary Popular Liberation Party-Front and the Workers Party of Kurdistan. However, among these organizations, FETÖ was not mentioned, a fact which did not escape the attention of the public, who know about the “omnipresence” of German intelligence, especially in relation to the Turks.

It turned out that Germany had become a paradise for diplomats, judges and senior officials in FETÖ’s ranks. The German authorities, in response to the demand to provide data on the number of approvals and asylum refusals to Turkish officials, reported that none of the asylum applications submitted by persons with diplomatic passports were rejected, and only 9 green passport holders were denied asylum. With these words, the German authorities officially recognized that all the appeals of high-ranking members of FETÖ were approved.

It was also indicated that, of the FETÖ members who had applied for asylum in the past 3 years, 1030 have a green passport, and 315 have a diplomatic black passport.

Information on asylum applications for the last 3 years in total shows:

* 2016: A total of 296 applications have been submitted. Of these, 168 applicants have a green passport, 128 – a diplomatic passport.

* 2017: 743 Turkish civil servants applied for asylum was. Of these, 593 have a green passport, 150 – a diplomatic passport.

* 2018: 306 Turkish civil servants applied for asylum was. Of these, 269 are with green passports, 37 are with diplomatic passports.

Ridiculous answer to a question about the PKK

Germany has once again demonstrated its duplicity with regard to the PKK. To the question about how many PKK members with German citizenship live in Germany, the government, which claims to monitor the activities of PKK members, responded with the words “There are reasons to believe that the number of PKK members in the country is three-digit”, which understandably caused confusion. The lack of an exact figure was explained by the German government that such information is “secret”, therefore it can be provided only to “specially authorized” persons.

Nurettin Kurt
Journalist, specialist in criminology, recipient of the EU Prize for Journalism and Turkish Journalists' Association’s press freedom award , and the author of “Journalist-wolf in the stressful triangle - Incident-police proceedings-lawsuit”,  Sedat Simavi Journalism Award - 2007 (Turkey) 32 yıllık gazeteci, polis ve adliye uzmanı, Sedat Simavi Gazetecilik Ödülü başta olmak üzere, 2011 ve 2017 TGC Başarı ödülü, Avrupa Birliği Araştırmacı Gazetecilik Ödülü, iki kez Çağdaş Gazeteciler Derneği haber ödülü, yedi kez Barış Selçuk Gazetecilik Ödülü ile birlikte çeşitli Sivil Toplum Kuruluşları tarafından ödüle layık görülmüştür, ‘Olay-Polis-Adliye- Gerilim Üçgeninde Kurt Gazeteci’ isimli kitabın yazarıdır

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April 2024