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Germany probes Turk over alleged spying on Gulen supporters

October 1, 2021 GMT

BERLIN (AP) — German prosecutors said Friday that they are investigating a Turkish man who was arrested in Dusseldorf on suspicion that he spied on supporters of cleric Fethullah Gulen’s movement while acting on behalf of Turkish intelligence.

The suspect, identified only as Ali D. in line with German privacy rules, was detained at a Duesseldorf hotel on Sept. 17 after an employee found a weapon on him and called police.

Federal prosecutors, who in Germany handle cases involving national security, said they have taken over the case from investigators in Duesseldorf. They are investigating the arrested man on suspicion of espionage and a weapons violation, prosecutors said in an emailed response to a question about German media reports on the probe.

Prosecutors said there are indications that Ali D. collected information on supporters of the Gulen movement living in the Cologne area for Turkey’s MIT intelligence service. He is also accused of possessing 200 rounds of ammunition.

Turkey has blamed U.S.-based Muslim cleric Gulen, a former ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for an attempted coup in 2016. Gulen rejects the accusation.

The Turkish government designated his network a terrorist group.