Realpolitik Required

Erdogan's Dubious Friends

ARCHIV - Der damalige türkische Ministerpräsident Recep Tayyip Erdogan spricht am 07.06.2013 bei einer Konferenz der der Minister für EU Angelegenheiten in Istanbul (Türkei). Die Bundesregierung sieht die Türkei unter Staatspräsident Erdogan als «zentrale Aktionsplattform» für islamistische und terroristische Organisationen im Nahen Osten. Foto: Tolga Bozoglu/dpa +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++
Erdogan, an unavoidable partner.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The European Union and NATO need Turkey despite reservations about possible links to terrorism.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • A confidential interior ministry document accuses the Turkish president of actively supporting terrorist organizations.
    • According to the document, Turkey has become a “central action platform” for Islamist groups in the Middle East.
    • The document was based on information from Germany’s intelligence agency, the BND.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

 

There isn’t really anything new in what the German interior ministry, on the basis of information from the foreign intelligence agency, the BND, wrote concerning the involvement of the Turkish government with Islamic extremists.

It is known that already during his time as prime minister in the early 2000s, the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan rolled out the red carpet for the radical Islamist Hamas. Nor is it a surprise that for years, fighters of the IS terrorist militia have crossed the Turkish-Syrian border at their pleasure, used Turkey as a refuge and established a dense network there for acquiring recruits. And even without the BND, it was known that the Turkish intelligence service delivers weapons to Islamist extremists in Syria. The Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet already documented this fact last year; as a result, its editor in chief Can Dündar is now on the run.

So it is in no way spectacular information that the interior ministry provided in response to a parliamentary inquiry from the Left Party. What is politically explosive is that the federal government has now put these findings on paper and thereby officially made them its own – even if it would have much preferred to keep them confidential for “reasons of state.”

Want to keep reading?

Subscribe now or log in to read our coverage of Europe’s leading economy.