Germany calls Turkey a hub for Islamist groups in leaked document

The German government says the "Islamization" of Turkey's domestic and foreign policy has made the country a hub for Islamist groups, according to a confidential document seen by public broadcaster ARD.

"As a result of the increasing Islamization of Ankara's domestic and foreign policy since 2011, Turkey has become a central platform for action for Islamist groupings in the ... Middle East region," according to an official response to an enquiry from the opposition Left Party.

The document was written by the Interior Ministry in response to an enquiry from Left Party lawmaker Sevim Dagdelen, and is based on information provided by Germany's foreign intelligence agency BND, ARD reported on Tuesday.

"The many expressions of solidarity and acts of support for the Egyptian (Muslim Brotherhood), Hamas and armed Islamist opposition groups in Syria by the governing (Justice and Development Party) and President (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan underline their ideological affinity," the government's response said.

It is the first time that the German government has linked Erdogan's government to an Islamist militant group. Hamas is considered a terrorist organization by the European Union, Israel and the United States.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and her foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, have remained largely neutral on Turkey's foreign policy and have failed to condemn a sweeping purge of suspected supporters of the July 15-16 military coup attempt.

In a separate part of the confidential document, the Interior Ministry said it could not be made public because that might risk "the wellbeing of the (German) state," ARD reported.

Last update: Tue, 16/08/2016 - 17:14

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