The tri­al against a Turk­ish nation­al accused of spy­ing will open in Ham­burg on Sep­tem­ber 7.

An inves­ti­ga­tion into MIT activ­i­ties in Ger­many was opened fol­low­ing arti­cles pub­lished in Ger­man media relay­ing con­cerns about the MIT (Turk­ish intel­li­gence) manip­u­lat­ing pub­lic opin­ion through false infor­ma­tion tak­en from a doc­u­ment of the Orga­ni­za­tion for the Pro­tec­tion of the Fed­er­al Constitution.

The Welt am Son­ntag Aval also relayed infor­ma­tion col­lect­ed from the intel­li­gence author­i­ty, claim­ing that close to 6000 agents linked to the MIT were reg­u­lar­ly inform­ing the Turk­ish intel­li­gence agency on mem­bers of the Turk­ish community.

In Ger­many, inves­ti­ga­tions of 20 Turks sus­pect­ed of being MIT agents are active at this time. None of them have admit­ted so far. The Ger­man judi­cia­ry is thus pay­ing par­tic­u­lar atten­tion to the tri­al of Mehmet Fatih Sayan. For Sayan, present­ly under deten­tion, admit­ted tak­ing orders from two MIT mem­bers, named “Kemal” and “Ahmet”.

In Novem­ber 2016, he revealed that assas­si­na­tions had been pro­gramed by the MIT, tar­get­ing Kur­dish lead­ers, notably Remzi Kar­tal, Co-Pres­i­dent of Kon­gra-Gel (Kur­dis­tan People’s Con­gress). Fol­low­ing these rev­e­la­tions, Mehmet Fatih Sayan was arrest­ed in Ham­burg by the Ger­man police on Decem­ber 15 2016.

The first hear­ing in the six tri­als con­cern­ing these mat­ters will thus begin on Sep­tem­ber 7 in Hamburg.

In all like­li­hood, this tri­al could last until mid-Octo­ber and a 5‑year jail sen­tence is demand­ed for Sayan. The accu­sa­tion, pre­pared by the Fed­er­al Pros­e­cu­tor, spec­i­fies that Sayan, aged 32, has worked for Turk­ish intel­li­gence since 2013 and was paid some 30 000€ for his services..

Dur­ing his ses­sions with the police and the judge, Sayan is said to have pro­vid­ed impor­tant infor­ma­tion. Accord­ing to yesterday’s copy of the week­ly Der Spiegel, Sayan, turned him­self over to the immi­gra­tion ser­vices in Ham­burg on Decem­ber 12 2016 ask­ing for asy­lum, fol­low­ing infor­ma­tion pub­lished by the paper Yeni Özgür Poli­ti­ka and picked up by oth­er Kur­dish media.

Images by Yeni Özgür Politika
  • Under the iden­ti­ty of a jour­nal­ist (Denge TV), inter­view with Remzi Kar­tal, the Co-Pres­i­dent of the Kongra-Gel

The media also report that he was put into cus­tody when, dur­ing his asy­lum request, he explained work­ing for and being paid by the MIT. Dur­ing his inter­ro­ga­tion, he explained he land­ed in Düs­sel­dorf from Istan­bul on Decem­ber 5 2016, 7 days before his arrest. He pro­vid­ed details of his meet­ings with MIT mem­bers in Ankara, and said he was in con­stant con­tact with two mem­bers named “Kemal” and “Ahmet”. Adding that he kept up the com­mu­ni­ca­tion by email, say­ing « when I had impor­tant infor­ma­tion, I wrote that I would be bring­ing them some chocolate ».

Dur­ing the audi­tions, Sayan also said :

They paid me a month­ly amount of 1500€. I was paid from hand to hand when I went to Ankara. To this day, I’ve been paid a total of 30 000€. In Ankara, I would go to a café favored by the elite, I’d set­tle in at a table, I didn’t pay the bill. The wait­er knew me any­way. Dur­ing a meet­ing I had with MIT mem­bers they said, go back to Ger­many and recruit two young Kurds so that they’ll beat up the deputy of the Green Par­ty Cem Özdemir at a demon­stra­tion. They ordered me to have him molested. »

In Feb­ru­ary 2017 Mehmet Fatih Sayan recant­ed the tes­ti­mo­ny he had giv­en to the BKA teams (Fed­er­al Crim­i­nal Police Office) and entered a total­ly dif­fer­ent tes­ti­mo­ny, still to the BKA.

I was employed by the Gulenists. They told me to infil­trate the Kurds and gath­er information. »

The same media add that Sayan’s pass­port con­tains entry and exit stamps from Ruma­nia, Poland and Ukraine dur­ing a peri­od when he had told his com­pan­ion that he was resid­ing in a lux­u­ry hotel in Ankara. The inves­ti­ga­tion also shows that he want­ed his girl­friend to act as an agent infil­tra­tor in Kur­dish women’s move­ments for a month­ly fee of 5000€ , a propo­si­tion she turned down.


The tri­al thus runs the risk of being filled with con­tra­dic­tions and denials.
At a time when Ger­man nation­als are arrest­ed « for polit­i­cal rea­sons » in Turkey, bring­ing to 12 the num­ber of Ger­man nation­als or bi-nation­al detainees such as jour­nal­ist Deniz Yücel, one can imag­ine there is a tit-for-tat involved between Erdoğan and Chan­cel­lor Merkel.

One can won­der what the next move will be, con­sid­er­ing the numer­i­cal impor­tance of the Turk­ish com­mu­ni­ty in Ger­many, and its role in exer­cis­ing polit­i­cal pres­sure on the upcom­ing elec­tions – as sly­ly under­lined by Erdoğan in his comments.

Ger­many can­not afford to play it solo polit­i­cal­ly in the tan­gled web of Euro­pean trou­bles around migrants and anti-terrorism.

We will fol­low with that much more inter­est the devel­op­ments in both these small and big mat­ters that are not only a thorn in the Berlin Bear’s side but also inter-con­nect­ed with the deten­tion of French jour­nal­ist Loup Bureau, among others.

Tory Kılıç

En français : “Alle­magne • L’espion qui venait d’Ankara” Cliquez pour lire

Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges

Fea­tured Image: Sayan, dur­ing a Kur­dish protest in Ger­many (Yeni Özgür Poli­ti­ka)

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