ANKARA, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Saturday that no member of Turkish Religious Affairs (Diyanet) and the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB) is a spy and their duty is not to spy on people, local media reported.
"Searching the houses of these people who are doing religious services which is also for the benefit of German society and taking steps against them by calling them 'criminals' will make Germany ashamed in the end," Kurtulmus said at the Economic Research Foundation's conference in Istanbul.
"This will not contribute to the development of Turkish-German relations. This will not contribute to the elections in Germany either," Kurtulmus was quoted as saying by state-run Anadolu Agency.
On Wednesday, German police raided the apartments of four Turkish religious officials as part of an investigation by the German Federal Prosecutor's Office.
The religious officials, who are members of the DITIB association of mosques in Germany, were suspected of the involvement in intelligence-gathering activities against the alleged followers of the so-called Fethullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), accused by Ankara of an attempted coup in July 2016.
The raids have the potential to deteriorate the already tense relations between Turkey and Germany caused by the crisis surrounding the EU-Turkey migration deal.