Levent Kenez / Stockholm
The Turkish government used its diplomats in Madagascar to profile opponents of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and to gather information about them in order to forge criminal proceedings against critics.
Judicial documents have confirmed that 18 Turkish nationals have been profiled by Turkish diplomats and reported to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ankara. The information was later used by a Turkish public prosecutor in a criminal terrorism charge.
According to a decision by Public Prosecutor Birol Tufan on December 13, 2018, the Ankara Public Prosecutor’s Office initiated a separate investigation (Az. 2018/43629) against Turkish nationals who were included in the list by Turkish diplomats without concrete evidence of misconduct. According to the documents, they were charged by Tufan with “membership in a terrorist group”.
According to a court document dated December 13, 2018, the Turkish diplomatic missions spied on critics. (The addresses and names of the Turkish nationals have been blacked out for security reasons):
The profiling documents were possibly made by Volkan Türk Vural and Metin Hüsrev Ünler, the Turkish Ambassador to Madagascar between 2014 and 2020.
Critics of the Erdoan government abroad, particularly members of the Hizmet / Gülen movement, have faced surveillance, harassment, death threats and kidnappings since President Erdoğan decided to scapegoat the group for his own legal problems. They were often denied consular services such as powers of attorney and birth records, as well as passport confiscation. Her property in Turkey will be confiscated and her domestic family members risk criminal charges.
As before disclosed from Nordic Monitor, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent lists of high profile Turkish nationals to the Ankara Public Prosecutor’s Office on two CDs
National Police and the Turkish secret service MIT on February 19, 2018 about an official document for further administrative or legal action, the punishment of their relatives in Turkey and the confiscation of their property.
Prosecutor Adem Akıncı, who received the document from the Foreign Office on February 23, 2018, forwarded it the classified CDs including information on 4,386 Erdoğan critics to the Ankara Police Department for Organized Crime for further action. The police forwarded the results of their investigation to the prosecutor.
Corresponding Court documents The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, published by the 4th Ankara High Criminal Court on January 16, 2019, compiled a long list of foreign institutions owned and / or operated by persons believed to be related to the movement.
Nordic Monitor before revealed how MIT infiltrated refugee camp in Greece to spy on opponents who were forced to flee to Greece to avoid an unprecedented raid in neighboring Turkey.
Secret document of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, which confirms that Turkish embassies and consulates operate a worldwide espionage network and profile critics abroad:
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu Confirmed systematic spying on Turkish government critics on foreign soil, such as by Turkish diplomatic missions in February 2020. Çavuşoğlu said that Turkish diplomats assigned to embassies and consulates have been officially ordered by the government to conduct such activities abroad. “If you look at the definition of a diplomat, it’s clear. … The gathering of intelligence information is the duty of diplomats ”, Çavuşoğlu said to Turkish journalists on February 16, 2020 after the Munich Security Conference and added:“ Intelligence service procurement and information gathering are a fact. ”