A gun attack in Germany on the pro-Kurdish German soccer player Deniz Naki, Sunday night, reeks of Turkish government involvement.

For a start, seeing as Naki currently plays in Turkey — albeit in a Kurdish dominated area — he would be more vulnerable to a Turkish ultra-nationalist attack while back home. In that context, considering Germany's competent intelligence and security forces, the only reason to attack Naki in Germany would be to send a message.

That's relevant in the context of increasingly aggressive Turkish intelligence operations against anti-Erdogan individuals in Germany over the last few years. Employing cutout agents (deniable intermediaries), Turkey's MIT intelligence service has even been linked to a number of assassination plots on German soil. Put simply, there's a track record here.

Now consider the attack itself.

Because the assassination attempt indicates the involvement of trained personnel rather than say, members of a thuggish Turkish ultra-nationalist group like the Grey Wolves. The most obvious point here is that the attackers (we should assume there were at least two: a driver and shooter) knew where Naki was and waited for the perfect moment to strike. Seeing as Naki was on a private visit to Germany rather than say traveling with his team, the attackers' knowledge of his movements suggests covert intelligence monitoring.

It's also telling that the assailants committed their deed while Naki was most vulnerable.

While the easiest way to strike Naki would have been to follow him and attack as he left his car at a hotel or other venue, those targets would have security systems or guards in place. Instead, the highway attack offered the opportunity to attack with speed, surprise and ample opportunity for escape. Assuming the would-be assassins used fake number plates or a stolen car, it will be difficult for the authorities to track them down.

Finally, there's Recep Tayyip Erdogan himself. We know the Turkish leader plays a very active and personal role in intelligence operations targeting his political opponents, and that he has very few qualms about using outrageous force to serve that agenda. We also know that Turkish-German relations are at a historic low.

Collectively, all of this builds at least a circumstantial case that the Turkish secret service is involved.