German FM announces steps against Turkey

Turkish authorities named dozens of German firms as supporters of the Gulen movement in a list they sent to Germany’s federal police, according to Die Zeit weekly. The list includes industry giants Daimler and BASF.Ankara has handed Germany what police sources called a “ridiculous” list of 68 companies and individuals in Germany who have ties with Fethullah Gulen, enemy of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Die Zeit reported on Wednesday.Turkey blames Gulen and his followers for the failed military coup a year ago, in which over 250 civilians lost their lives in the violence. The movement is banned and branded as a terrorist faction by the state.

Turkey blames Gulen and his followers for the failed military coup a year ago, in which over 250 civilians lost their lives in the violence. The movement is banned and branded as a terrorist faction by the state.

The list, forwarded to Germany several weeks ago, names the car maker Daimler and chemical company BASF as backers of terrorism, but also includes a Turkish fast food restaurant and a late-night food store.

Earlier this month, Erdogan told Die Zeit that his officials sent 4,500 files on alleged Gulen sympathizers to Germany and demanded that they be extradited to Turkey.

“You need to deliver these terrorists to Turkey,” he said. “As long as you don’t, Turkey will perceive Germany as a country which is protecting terrorists.”

German officials view the list from Ankara as “absurd” and “ridiculous.” Germany’s Federal Criminal Police (BKA) has requested additional information from their Turkish colleagues, but has received no reply so far, Die Zeit reports.

Germany has been locked in a long-running diplomatic row with Turkey, with Berlin slamming the purges by Erdogan’s administration and accusing the Turkish government of using violence to silence its political opponents. Earlier on Wednesday, Germany summoned the Turkish ambassador in Berlinto protest the arrest of several human rights activists, including German citizen Peter Steudtner.

Reports DW

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel announced on Thursday a range of steps against Turkey in response to the detention of a German human rights activist, signaling a more confrontational stance to the NATO ally after an escalation in tensions. Sigmar Gabriel said Germany would talk to EU partners about Turkey’s aspirations to join the bloc and made clear Berlin could no longer guarantee German corporate investment in Turkey. He also said he could not envisage talks on expanding the customs union to Turkey and he issued new travel advice which warned of risks in Turkey for Germans. “We need to be clearer than we have been until now so those responsible in Ankara understand that such policies are not without consequences,”Gabriel told reporters. He said the new steps had been agreed with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Germany raised the possibility on Wednesday of suspending European Union aid payments to Turkey after summoning Ankara’s ambassador to Berlin to protest over the arrest of six human rights activists including a German citizen. The moves mark a further escalation of tensions between NATO allies Germany and Turkey.“Unfortunately we have constant cause to talk to Turkey about civil and press freedoms,”government spokesman Steffen Seibert said. “We think it is important to review aid in light of the latest developments.” Seibert was referring to a package of assistance totaling €3 billion that the EU has promised to Turkey to help stem flows of migrants, mostly from conflict zones in the Middle East, into Europe

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s