Europe

German state warns Gulen followers of Turkish spy efforts

Officials in the German state of Lower-Saxony are warning followers of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen of Turkish efforts to spy on them.

Lower-Saxony's interior minister, Boris Pistorius, says Turkey's foreign intelligence agency MIT handed its German counterpart a list of suspected Gulen supporters living in Germany with a request to put them under surveillance. The Turkish government claims the moderate Islamic religious movement was behind last year's coup attempt.

Pistorius said Tuesday there was "no evidence that Gulen supporters in Germany had anything to do with the attempted putsch."

He accused the Turkish government of having an "almost paranoid fear of conspiracy" and of trying to silence its critics.

Turkey has arrested 41,000 people in a crackdown against alleged Gulen supporters in the country since the failed coup last July.