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Turkish President Erdogan Postures Toward France

As revealed by the JDD, several reports sent to the Élysée by the French intelligence services are alarmed at the growing influence of Turkish power on French territory.

After arriving for an official visit to Paris on January 5, 2018, Turkey’s President Erdogan launched this provocative sentence to the leaders of the French Council for Muslim Worship (CFCM): “The Muslims of France are under my protection. Those who touch you touch me. . .” 

Three years later, while tensions have increased – to the point of public invective – between the Turkish head of state and Emmanuel Macron concerning the French policy of combating Islamic terrorism, the information collected by intelligence services attests the reality of Turkish activism in the territory.

Several reports sent to the Élysée Palace by the General Directorate of Internal Security (DGSI), the General Directorate of External Security (DGSE) and the Intelligence Directorate of the Prefecture of Police (DRPP) at the end of October 2020 – and that the JDD was able to consult – reveal the scope, forms and objectives of a real infiltration strategy launched from Ankara through networks run by the Turkish Embassy and MIT, the service of Turkish espionage. These “vectors of influence” pointed out by French experts act mainly with the Turkish immigrant population, but also through Muslim organizations and even recently in local political life, through the support given to elected officials.

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For about a month, young people and human rights groups have taken to the streets against the appointment of Melih Bulu, a person with inadequate skills and chosen on the basis of his loyalty to Erdogan as dean of Boğaziçi University, one of the main educational institutions in Turkey.

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