Turkey says it would reciprocate German threats

Jul 22, 2017, 00:36
Turkey says it would reciprocate German threats

Germany said on Friday it was reviewing applications for arms projects from Turkey, accusing its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally of ramping up covert operations as an attempt by a Turkish minister to calm a deepening bilateral crisis fell flat.

German newspaper "Die Zeit" reported that Turkey had handed Germany a list of 68 companies and individuals suspected of links to terror due to alleged contacts with the group of the US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, who is blamed for the July 15 failed coup. "Some of them have been in operating in Turkey for over half a century", Yildirim said after attending Friday prayers in Ankara, according to state-run Anadolu Agency.

None of the nearly 4,500 extradition demands regarding PKK members issued by Ankara have been responded to by Berlin, Turkish officials have always been saying, which has also been recognized by German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel in early June.

The move of "reorientation" of policy toward Turkey was in response to Turkey's jailing of German human rights activists and journalists.Relations between Ankara and Berlin deteriorated after the Turkish arrest of German human rights activist Peter Steudtner.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek on Thursday denied the reports, adding that "Turkey welcomes German investors".

In its statement, Turkey's Foreign Ministry said that the two countries were going through a crisis of confidence, blaming it on what it said was Germany's "double-standard attitude" toward Turkey.

"I strongly condemn the German economy minister's baseless [.] message aimed at frightening companies investing in my country", Erdogan said in Istanbul.

Turkey says it would reciprocate German threats

But in his first reaction to the latest twist in the crisis, Turkey's president Erdogan retorted that Germany does "not have the power to smear Turkey". Speaking with Reuters he insisted German investments in Turkey are fully guaranteed by Turkish law.

Germany, home to three million people with Turkish roots, said it would review Turkish applications for arms projects.

Turkey has reportedly given the list to Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office.

Before the failed coup and the massive crackdown which followed, members of Gulen's movement were accused of running a parallel shadow government after gaining control of state institutions which included the military and the judiciary. He also complained that German companies are being accused without evidence of helping terrorists. The Turkish government says the measures are necessary given the gravity of the security and terrorism threat it faces.

The foreign ministry followed up with a formal warning that German citizens detained in Turkey have been refused consular access in violation of worldwide law, DW reports. He said Germany had to account for the "terrorists" who Erdogan said were hiding in Germany. Germany should quit the idea of punishing Turkey through economic sanctions and travel warnings as it should be aware that it would only further damage ties between Turkey and the entire Europe.

The situation, he said, reminded him of East Germany which was why Berlin could no longer guarantee the safety of German tourists in Turkey, the report said.