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Turkey - Denmark relations


Denmark charges Turkish informants as spies

12 March 2018

A broad ranging investigation by the Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) has resulted in trials being opened against three people who informed on Turkish citizens living in Denmark to the Turkish government, Turkish news portal Gazete Duvar reported on Monday.

Turkish citizens living in Denmark who hold political views opposed to the Turkish ruling Justice and Development Party voiced concerns in March 2017 that they were being denounced to the Turkish government for treason. This prompted the Danish government to summon Turkish diplomats and condemn the informants.

A Danish-Turkish politician and activist, Özlem Cekic, was among the citizens who voiced concerns after receiving a Facebook message telling her she had been denounced.

Danish laws forbid gathering information on immigrants or asylum seekers living in the country; sharing this information with foreign countries is also prohibited.

Thus, the presence of informants denouncing Turks in Denmark was treated as a serious issue by PET, which conducted a comprehensive investigation that has led to the trial of three individuals on spying charges. Source


Denmark summons Turkish envoy over informant fears

20 March 2017

Denmark’s foreign minister Anders Samuelsen is seeking clarification from the Turkish government after Danish citizens of Turkish extraction said they were concerned about being denounced to the Turkish government for treason.

Samuelsen said that Danish Turks being denounced to Turkish authorities for being critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was “in no way acceptable”.

Newspaper Berlingske reported on Sunday that several Danish-Turkish public figures feared being denounced to Turkish authorities as national traitors and terrorists.

Former MP and NGO founder Özlem Cekic told the newspaper that she had received a message on Facebook from a person that they would “report [Cekic] to the authorities in Turkey and hope that you are put on their clean-up list, so you get blacklisted”.

The Turkish chargé d’affaires has been summoned to a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday.

“This is completely unacceptable. In principle informing is the concern of the police,” Samuelsen told news agency Ritzau.

The minister said that the aim of the meeting would be to get “clarity over what they may or may not know about this issue”.

Summoning an envoy is a normal step in diplomatic procedure.

The accusations of informing are not the first diplomatic obstacle faced by the two countries in recent times. Last week Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen requested that his Turkish counterpart Binali Yildirim postpone a planned visit after Turkish government representatives were barred from holding referendum campaign meetings in Germany and the Netherlands, to the fury of Erdogan and his government.

This lead to the nationalist Danish People’s Party questioning whether Denmark should allow dual citizenship, which was only introduced in the country in 2015.

Both Cekic and Social Democrat MP Lars Aslan Rasmussen have stated that they fear being informed on to the Turkish state, reports Ritzau.

“I fear being arrested. It happens to foreign citizens too, so having a burgundy-coloured passport does not make you safe,” Cekic said.

According to Berlingske, a media company in Turkey announced after last year’s failed coup a direct line to the President’s office.

The line was advertised as one through which people who supported the Gülen movement - accused by the Erdogan government of being behind the attempted coup - could be denounced.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that it was Turkey's ambassador, rather than chargé d’affaires, that had been summoned by the Danish foreign ministry. Source

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