The number of investigations conducted by the German Chief Prosecution against foreign intelligence agencies increased drastically in 2021 compared to the previous year. In an article published by Die Welt, based on the German government’s reply to a parliamentary question tabled by the Left Party, it is reported that espionage attempts have increased in the country, especially on behalf of Turkey, DW Turkish reported.
According to the article, the Chief Prosecution initiated 22 new investigations into foreign espionage activities in 2021, up from 14 in 2020.
In a statement made by Sevim Dağdelen, MP for the Left Party in Germany, it is indicated that within the past two years there have been 10 investigations in connection with the Turkish National Intelligence Agency. Four of these were launched in 2020, and six in 2021.
Dağdelen criticised the German government, indicating that two of the investigations launched last year were dismissed for lack of grounds to proceed, and that no proceedings had as yet been initiated in relation to other investigations.
Dağdelen called upon the new German government to put more pressure on Ankara, saying that the federal government had no intention of ending Turkish president Erdoğan’s influence in Germany.
Espionage activities in Germany originating from Turkey have particularly increased since the 2016 failed coup attempt in Turkey.
Last October, a 40-year-old man was taken into custody from a good hotel in the city of Düsseldorf, on allegations of espionage. Bullets and a list of names were found in the suspect’s hotel room, and the Prosecution later stated that a suspicious transaction had been observed in the suspect’s bank account.
It was also reported in the German media that the Dağdelen herself has been targeted, by the ‘Grey Wolves’, a Turkish paramilitary group affiliated with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
Dağdelen had been warned by the German police of a possible threat during the recent election campaign in the autumn. The police even advised Dağdelen to cancel an event she was planning to attend on 23 September.