Germany has accused Turkey of supporting terrorist organisations like Hamas and the Islamist opposition in Syria, a leaked report reveals.
Berlin believes that Turkey has been deliberately financing radical groups with the direct consent of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the Ankara government takes an increasingly Islamist line, according the confidential report obtained by broadcaster ARD.
The report was written after far-left party Die Linke made a confidential request in the Bundestag – the German parliament.
It accuses Turkey’s ruling AKP party of providing “many expressions of solidarity and support” for groups like the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Palestinian terror group Hamas and the armed Islamist opposition in Syria. It adds that this support “emphasise[s] their ideological affinity with the (broader) Muslim Brotherhood.”
The document also claims Turkey has deepened ties with these groups in recent years.
“As a result of the step-by-step Islamization of its foreign and domestic policy since 2011, Turkey has become the central platform for action by Islamist groups in the Middle East,” it says.
Sevim Dagdalen, an MP for Die Linke, said: “The German government cannot publicly designate the godfather of terrorism Erdogan as a partner, while internally warning about Turkey as a hub for terrorism.”
Tensions between Turkey and the West have been growing since last month’s failed coup, with Ankara accusing Western allies of failing to stand up for the Turkish government. The country has now begun a large-scale crackdown on opponents, and is even considering bringing back the death penalty.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu demanded last weekend that the EU give Turkey visa-free travel by October, threatening to withdraw from a deal to stem illegal immigration if it does not get its way.
When asked by German newspaper Bild whether hundreds of thousands of migrants currently held in Turkey would pour into Europe if the EU does not grant Turkey visa freedom, Mr Cavusoglu said: “I don’t want to talk about the worst case scenario – talks with the EU are continuing but it’s clear that we either apply all treaties at the same time or we put them all aside.”