Turkey has around 6,000 informants working in Germany, which experts say means they’re each monitoring more people than the Stasi did in West Germany during the Cold War.

A security politician told Die Welt that Turkey’s MIT intelligence agency has some 6,000 informants in Germany.

For Germany’s population of about 3 million people with Turkish roots, that means that each informant could be responsible for monitoring 500 people, which is a greater proportion than the Stasi had in West Germany, intelligence expert and author Erich Schmidt-Eenboom told The Local.

In comparison, Schmidt-Eenboom explained, the Stasi had around 10,000 agents in West Germany to monitor a population of roughly 60 million – meaning 6,000 people per agent.

The Ministry for State Security, also known as the Stasi, was communist East Germany’s secret police force, which secretly monitored millions until the end of the Cold War and German reunification.

But the Stasi engaged primarily in gathering military, political or economic intelligence in West Germany, rather than targeting former citizens, as MIT seems to be doing in Germany, Schmidt-Eenboom said.

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“This is no longer about intelligence reconnaissance, but rather this is increasingly being used for intelligence repression,” Schmidt-Eenboom said.

Since a failed coup attempt in Turkey last month, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been enacting mass detentions in his own country of suspected opponents, including academics, journalists, and military members.

Read More: The Local.de

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