Tags: EU | Turkey | Germany

Turkish Leader Slams Germany for Wavering on Extraditions

Thursday, 03 November 2016 11:46 AM

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey's president harshly criticized Germany Thursday, accusing the country of supporting terrorism and slamming comments by the German justice minister suggesting Berlin may not extradite suspects wanted by Turkey in cases it considers politically motivated.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attacked comments by German Justice Minister Heiko Maas, who said on Tuesday that Berlin could refuse to extradite cases related to the "so-called (post-coup) cleansing that is taking place."

Maas was referring to the mass arrests, firings of civil servants and news outlet closures that have accompanied Turkey's clampdown on the movement led by U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen. Turkey accuses Gulen of masterminding a failed coup in July that left over 270 people dead. Gulen has denied planning the coup attempt.

Specifically slamming Germany's hesitation to return prosecutors suspected of being members of the Gulen movement, Erdogan accused Germany of having "become a shelter" for terrorists and for having no regard for other countries' national security sensitivities.

"We have no expectations from you, but you will forever go down in history for supporting terrorism," he added.

Erdogan also blasted German criticism of the post-coup crackdown.

"The German minister said they were watching the operations against terrorism-supporting newspapers with concern," he said. "Well, we are watching Germany's stance and its subsequent policies with concern — no, with horror."

In addition to demanding extradition of suspects abroad, Turkey has arrested almost 37,000 people and dismissed or suspended over 100,000 personnel from government jobs.

Opposition parties, human rights groups and international allies have all criticized Ankara for using the failed coup to clamp down not only on alleged coup plotters, but on all government critics including pro-Kurdish and left-wing individuals and media outlets.

Erdogan invited German officials to tour the Turkish Parliament, which was hit by jets on the night of the coup.

"I wonder what they would do if their Parliament had been bombed," he said.

Tensions between Ankara and Berlin have been running high after the German Parliament passed a bill in June recognizing Ottoman-era killings of Armenians as genocide. Turkey responded by preventing German legislators from visiting troops at a base in southern Turkey.

The issue seemed to be resolved last month after the German government stressed that the parliamentary resolution was not legally binding.

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Turkey's president harshly criticized Germany Thursday, accusing the country of supporting terrorism and slamming comments by the German justice minister suggesting Berlin may not extradite suspects wanted by Turkey in cases it considers politically motivated.Turkish...
EU,Turkey,Germany
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2016-46-03
Thursday, 03 November 2016 11:46 AM
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