On the left, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (in short shorts) with Metin Kuluk during their youth. On the right Erdogan and Kuluk in a recent photo
Wiretaps of phone conversations between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) parliament member Metin Kulunk have revealed Erdogan’s direct links to protests held in Berlin in 2016 ahead of the German Bundestag’s (parliament) adoption of a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide and condemning Germany’s role in the crime, according to a recent report published by the German Der Spiegel magazine.
Der Spiegel reported that Kulunk’s phone was being tapped at the time by the Hassen police because of his links to the boxing club to which Kulunk reportedly provided money to purchase weapons, organize protests and target Erdogan’s critics.
According to the German magazine’s report, which was published on March 24, the conversation between Erdogan and Kulunk took place on June 1, 2016, one day before the Bundestag debated the Armenian Genocide resolution.
“Hello,” says Erdogan in the phone conversation as his foreign minister hands him the phone. The man Kulunk, whose phone was being monitored, asks, “My dear President, with respect, how are you?”
Erdogan then listens to Kulunk’s report, which concerned a demonstration he had organized to protest the Bundestag’s Armenian resolution. “I wanted to present that to you, Your Highness,” Kulunk says, adding: “I am waiting for your orders.” Erdogan replies that they will call back and wishes Kulunk a “blessed night.”
Separately, the Deutsche Welle newspaper reported in December that Osmanen Germania was linked to Kulunk as well as Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT), the AKP’s European lobbying organization and Erdogan himself.
Kulunk described these allegations at the time as a plot by followers of the Gülen movement, accused by the Turkish government of orchestrating a failed coup in 2016.