Er­do­gan tells Ger­many - don’t In­ter­fere in any Turk­ish af­fairs Lat­est broad­side in a blis­ter­ing row

Kuwait Times - - IN­TER­NA­TIONAL -

Ger­many has no right to in­ter­fere in Turkey’s do­mes­tic af­fairs, Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan said yes­ter­day, his lat­est broad­side in a blis­ter­ing row sparked by the waves of ar­rests un­der the cur­rent state of emer­gency. Sev­eral Ger­man na­tion­als are among those be­ing held and Ber­lin has warned its ci­ti­zens that their safety can­not be guar­an­teed in Turkey and that con­sular ac­cess is not as­sured in case of ar­rest.

Throw­ing away any pre­tence at diplomatic nu­ance, Ger­man For­eign Min­is­ter Sig­mar Gabriel had Thurs­day also warned Ger­man firms against in­vest­ment in Turkey and spoke of an “over­haul” of the en­tire re­la­tion­ship. “Turkey is a so­cial demo­cratic state based on law and no one has the right to in­ter­fere in its in­ter­nal af­fairs,” said Er­do­gan be­fore head­ing off on a trip to the Gulf.

Ad­dress­ing Gabriel’s com­ments, he said: “We (Turkey and Ger­many) are to­gether in NATO. We (Turkey) are in ne­go­ti­a­tions to join the EU. “So the strate­gic part­ner­ship be­tween us is noth­ing new. We have been part­ners for a long time. No step should be taken to over­shadow this part­ner­ship,” he added.

In an in­ter­view with the daily Bild, how­ever, Ger­many’s pow­er­ful fi­nance min­is­ter, Wolf­gang Schaeu­ble, warned Er­do­gan that he was “jeop­ar­diz­ing the cen­turies-old part­ner­ship be­tween Turkey and Ger­many”. “It is truly dra­matic-there is ac­tu­ally so much that con­nects us. But we will not be black­mailed,” he said, ac­cord­ing to ex­tracts of the in­ter­view to be pub­lished on Mon­day.

Pub­lic se­cu­rity

The Ger­man Cham­bers of Com­merce and In­dus­try (DIHK) es­ti­mated that the pre­vail­ing un­cer­tainty would likely wipe two bil­lion eu­ros ($2.3 bil­lon) off bi­lat­eral trade, the Welt am Son­ntag news­pa­per re­ported. Turkey re­mains un­der a state of emer­gency im­posed days af­ter last year’s July 15 failed coup which crit­ics claim is be­ing used to go af­ter any op­po­nent of Er­do­gan. The au­thor­i­ties say the emer­gency is needed for pub­lic se­cu­rity.

The lat­est cri­sis was pre­cip­i­tated by the or­der of a Turk­ish court to re­mand in cus­tody a group of hu­man rights ac­tivists de­tained on an is­land off Is­tan­bul, in­clud­ing Amnesty In­ter­na­tional’s Turkey direc­tor Idil Eser and Ber­lin-based ac­tivist Peter Steudt­ner. But Ber­lin was al­ready fu­ri­ous over the jail­ing in Fe­bru­ary of Deniz Yu­cel, Turkey cor­re­spon­dent for Die Welt news­pa­per, who Er­do­gan has per­son­ally de­nounced as a “ter­ror agent”.

Mean­while, Turkey ac­cuses Ger­many of not do­ing enough to deal with Kur­dish mil­i­tants and sus­pects from the failed coup who has taken refuge on its soil. Er­do­gan said Ankara had passed Ber­lin 4,500 dossiers on Kur­dis­tan Work­ers Party (PKK) sus­pects alone. Both Turkey and the EU as well as the US out­law the PKK as a ter­ror group.

ANKARA: Ven­dors sell prod­ucts fea­tur­ing coup-vic­tim Omer Hal­is­demir dur­ing the first an­niver­sary of a failed coup at­tempt on July 16, 2017 at Tak­sim Square. —AFP

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