French intelligence report labels Turks as threat to public safety

A report prepared by the Central Directorate of Internal Intelligence (DCRI) about Turkish foundations that earlier this year organized a march to protest a French bill that would criminalize denial of 1915 killings of Armenians as genocide indicates that Turks are a threat to public safety in France, Today’s Zaman has learned.

Thousands of Turks from across Europe marched through the French capital in January denouncing the French bill that would make it a crime to deny that the killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks nearly a century ago was genocide.

The bill strained Turkish-French ties to a great extent. France formally recognized the 1915 killings as genocide in 2001 but provided no penalty for anyone refuting that.

The DCRI said in its report, which was recently leaked to the press, that the Turkish community in the country is a big, organized community, in some cases receiving financial support from other countries, which poses a threat to the safety of all French citizens, particularly those of Armenian ancestry.

The report further claimed that the Turkish foundations that took part in the march in Paris in January acted in line with orders from the Turkish government. “Turkish foundations are directly and easily mobilized by Turkish intelligence services. Our sources in Ankara confirm that this operation [march] was organized by Turkish intelligence upon orders from the Turkish government.”

Pro-Turkish website administered by French intelligence

The report has also revealed that a news website, www.turquie-news.fr, which is popular among young Turks in the country, is administered by a French person who works for the French intelligence service.

The news website has a policy of opposing the Armenian claims of genocide.

“This website is officially administered by one of our esteemed intelligence officials. Upon our order our employee has gone against the education in history he received and lobbies in favor of the Turks. His education in history strengthens his ties with the Turks. He is now serving as an intern at a nationalist think tank in Ankara. Thanks to his efforts, we learn the working principles of our Turkish colleagues and their attitude toward opponents in France — mainly Armenians and Kurds,” says the report.

Sources told Today’s Zaman on condition of anonymity that the intelligence official in question is historian and researcher Maxime Gauin, who has written books against Armenian claims of genocide. He is currently an intern at the International Strategic Research Organization (USAK) in Ankara. Gauin earlier won a compensation case he filed against Movses Nisanyan, a member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, who had accused him of being a collaborator of the “genocide.”

The report also notes that the person who administers the www.turquie-news.fr website provides regular intelligence to Israeli intelligence services about Azerbaijan’s Iran policy due to an agreement between France and Israel about intelligence sharing.

According to the report, Radio MIT was established by three French citizens of Turkish origin, broadcasts in Turkish in Lyon, has ties with the French Turkish Federation and receives financial support from Turkey.

How did the report leak to the press?

The 19-page report was posted on Calaméo, a French multilingual online service for document publishing and sharing, as a PDF file on March 16. It was later posted on the Facebook page of Radio MIT. It was found out that the person who posted the report on Calaméo resides in the United States and used the code name “ogünsamast.” Ogün Samast, a Turkish-ultranationalist youth, was the killer of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, who was murdered in 2007. Administrators of Radio MIT refute the claims in the report; however, they had to close down the radio’s Facebook page due to debates. Sources told Today’s Zaman that the report is authentic. The report has a fourth level of confidentiality, which is restricted distribution.

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