Nordic Monitor has found that the Turkish National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) has been recruiting assets from Greece’s Muslim National Minority to spy on critics of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, especially followers of Fethullah Gülen, collectively known as Gülenists.
Gülen was a one time ally of Erdoğan, but the pair fell out and ever since the Turkish president has been spearheading a massive purge of so-called Gülenists, resulting in hundreds of thousands of Turkish citizens either being arrested or removed from their jobs and employment.
“Greece has served as an important destination for critics and opponents of the Erdoğan regime including Gülenists to escape Erdoğan’s wrath as it has both land and sea borders with Turkey, explained Abdullah Bozkurt of Nordic Monitor, who himself fled Erdoğan’s purges.
However, it would be the end of his report in the article titled “More secret documents confirming vast Turkish espionage activities in Greece uncovered” that would reveal the MIT are actively recruiting from Greece’s Muslim minority.
“The Turkish intelligence services, already running operations to collect information using assets developed from minority Muslim groups in Greece, have apparently intensified their operations in the neighboring NATO member. The secret documents show that Turkey keeps tabs on critics even after they manage to cross into Greece and seek asylum under international human rights conventions,” Bozkurt revealed.
Turkey often makes baseless claims that the Muslim national minority in Greece, accounting for about 120,000 people in Thrace, are being discriminated and persecuted against. However, Turkey often uses Turkish-speaking minorities to supposedly legitimise aggression actions, such as the invasion of northern Cyprus.
Now, as Bozkurt has revealed, the Muslim minority in Thrace are actively being targeted to become assets of the MIT. Of the 120,000 Muslims in Thrace, it is believed about half are Turkish-speakers, with the other being comprised of Pomaks (Bulgarian-speaking Muslims), Roma and even Greek Muslims.
In his article, Bozkurt reveals documents that confirm the MIT are actively spying on hundreds of Turkish citizens who have sought asylum in Greece, escaping the Erdoğan regime.
“According to the document MIT tracked the movements of Turkish asylum seekers while they were in Greece and determined that some had left the country, confirming to which European state or country in the Americas they had travelled as a final destination after stopping in Greece,” Nordic Monitor reported.
In his report, Bozkurt would also reveal that Turkish diplomatic staff based in Greece are actively a part of espionage services, directly contravening the Vienna Conventions.