The recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels revealed that intelligence sharing between European nations and Turkey is inadequate.
Salah Abdelslam, a suspect in the March bombings of Brussels Airport, was detained in Gaziantep, Turkey in July 2015 and deported to Belgium on terrorism charges. Yet, according to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Belgian authorities could not tie him to terrorist activities and Abdelslam was released.
Similarly, after the November 2015 attacks in Paris, Turkey claimed it had warned France about attacker Omar Ismail Mostefai twice, in December 2014 and in June 2015, but never heard back.
Wikistrat’s Dr. Akin Ünver argues in this report that European countries and Turkey must come to a better intelligence-sharing agreement.
“This would mean a better personal data protection law for Turkey that eventually becomes the legal basis for faster and better transfer of criminal data,” he writes.
If completed as intended, this will do wonders in leading to an EU-Turkish joint counterterrorism early-warning system.
Ünver also recommends increases in funding and personnel for European intelligence agencies. The fact that Belgian and French services were unable to heed Turkey’s warnings about their respective attackers suggest a shortcoming in capabilities that must be addressed.
Click here or on the cover image to download the report and learn more.
About the author
Dr. Akin Ünver
Wikistrat Senior Analyst
Assistant Professor of International Relations at Kadir Has University