Espionage of Turkish mosques in Belgium

15 December 2016
Espionage of Turkish mosques in Belgium

The N-VA has petitioned Minister of Justice Koen Geens (CD&V) to urgently monitor the espionage activities of Turkish mosques in Belgium and take the appropriate measures. The move was motivated by a letter from Diyanet, the Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs, to Turkish mosques, embassies and consulates outside Turkey. The letter encourages people to spy on Turks who are suspected of ties with the Gülen movement and to pass on their names to the Turkish authorities. The letter was also distributed in Belgium.

“Such calls are absolutely and radically irreconcilable with our way of life”, according to the N-VA, which denounced this Turkish imperialism roundly. In the Netherlands, this letter has also become fuel for debate, with the Turkish ambassador being called to account.

Permit withdrawal

Flemish Minister Liesbeth Homans, who is tasked with mosque recognition, has already confirmed that she would withdraw Diyanet mosque permits if the investigation by the State Security corroborates reports about the call for espionage. For this purpose, the N-VA requests that Minister Geens also work closely with the Flemish government in order to effectively authorisations. The party also stresses how important it is that imams be educated in Belgium instead of importing them from Turkey: “Diyanet’s activities engender an even more acute sense of need for this to take place.”

“Under no condition should the long arm of Erdogan’s machinations be allowed to extend to the level of our towns and municipalities”, the N-VA concludes. “His actions have already caused more than enough grief in Turkey. We cannot allow him to do the same in Belgium.”

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