Europe

Germany: Turkish spy list may be deliberate provocation

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting of the German government at the chancellery in Berlin, Wednesday, March 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting of the German government at the chancellery in Berlin, Wednesday, March 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)  (The Associated Press)

Germany's interior minister says Turkey's intelligence agency may have given its German counterpart a list of suspected supporters of a U.S.-based cleric to "provoke us in some way."

Last month, Turkey's MIT agency handed German intelligence a list of some 300 alleged supporters of Fethullah Gulen thought to be living in Germany, among them reportedly a German lawmaker.

Officials have said Turkey asked the Germans to put those people under surveillance.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told ZDF television Thursday that he suspected the move may have been intended to weigh on Turkish-German relations, "to provoke us in some way." He said he didn't believe it was meant as a contribution to anti-terrorist reconnaissance.

The Turkish government claims Gulen supporters were behind a July coup attempt. Gulen denies orchestrating it.