9 June 2018
“The conspiratorial part of the movement is characterized by a strict hierarchy and its structure resembled to the one of an organized crime group,” the report noted, according to the weekly.
According to Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency, German authorities did not regard FETÖas a serious threat to Germany in the past, and allowed the group to build a large network in the country, including businesses, private schools and media organizations.
Despite warnings from Ankara, in the aftermath of the foiled coup bid in 2016, German authorities declined to outlaw the group in the country, and argued that such a move could only come after concrete evidence of acts against German laws and its constitution.
Der Spiegel reported on June 8 the German authorities were reconsidering their stance towards the group after recent revelations on its activities.
The weekly also published interviews with several former FETÖmembers, who provided information about the secret practices of the group, in order to earn trust in public and increase its influence in key institutions.
Ex-FETÖ members argued that the group had developed “parallel structures”, and all decisions were in fact taken by its leaders in a strict hierarchy.
FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fethullah Guülen carried out a long-running campaign in Turkey since 1980s and particularly tried to infiltrate key state institutions, including the military, police and judiciary.
In Germany, which is home to more than 3 million Turkish immigrants, FETÖ members have tried to avoid public criticism and have focused on "interfaith dialogue" programs, sticking to “moderate” messages, with the goal of winning the trust of media, influential churches and political institutions.
The group claims to have around 70,000 followers on German soil.
Nearly 4,000 suspected FETÖ members have come to Germany since the coup attempt in Turkey, according to the group members' statements on local media.