The Turkish government has failed to convince Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND), the country’s foreign intelligence agency, that U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen was behind the July 15, 2016, failed coup attempt in Turkey, the agency’s head told a German
magazine on March 18.
“Turkey has tried on different levels to convince us of that fact, but they have not succeeded,” foreign intelligence service chief Bruno Kahl told the German
daily Der Spiegel.
Turkish authorities have blamed the attempted coup that left 248 people dead on the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), whose leader is Gülen.
“What we saw following the coup would have happened regardless, maybe not on the same scale and with such radicalism,” Kahl said.
But Kahl also said he did not think the Turkish government was behind the coup. “The coup attempt was not initiated by the government. Before July 15 the government had already started a big purge so parts of the military thought they should do a coup quickly before it hit them, too.”
Asked whether the Gülen movement was “extreme Islamist or terrorist,” Kahl said it was a “civil association that aims to provide further religious and secular education.”