Germany starts trial of Erdogan’s former aide on spying charges
According to court documents, the goal of the espionage group was to track and spy on Turkish and Kurdish dissidents
A court in Koblenz, Germany, started the trial of three Turks accused of spying for Ankara on political dissidents residing in Germany, according to the official German news channel DW.
The channel added that late last year a German court has accepted an indictment regarding acts of espionage by three Turks in Germany, one of whom is identified as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's former aide, Mahmut Gergerlioglu.
According to the Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman, Gergerlioglu, 59, is one of three Turks, along with Turkish national Ahmet Duran Y. and German national Goksel G., who were arrested in Germany in December over suspicion of espionage.
In May the Federal Attorney General of Germany filed charges against the trio for spying for Turkey's National Intelligence Organization (MİT).
Today’s Zaman said that Gergerlioglu was reportedly sent in 2011 by MİT head Hakan Fidan with a fund of $28,000 to launch a consulting company for German-Turkish companies in the city of Bad Durkheim with Goksel G.
While Turkish Today’s Zaman said that Gergerlioglu, is a former adviser of Erdogan, and reportedly ran the other defendants as agents, German Der Spiegel said that Goksel is a former aid to Erdogan.
According to court documents, the goal of the espionage group was to track and spy on Turkish and Kurdish dissidents who were then to be detained upon their return to Turkey.