Crosschecking information in France and Turkey over Paris attack suspect ongoing: PM Davutoğlu
ANKARA - BRUSSELSPrime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu responded to questions at the airport over French terror suspect Hayat Boumeddiene before leaving Turkey to attend the support rally in Paris for France on Jan. 11.
When asked whether Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency (MİT) had informed the French authorities over Boumeddiene after she arrived in Turkey, Davutoğlu said the process of mutual information sharing between Turkey and France was “ongoing.”
“Turkey has always been in close cooperation with all countries when it comes to terrorist activity. The cooperation with French intelligence is based on strong ground. The crosschecking process for information [between France and Turkey] is continuing. We always cooperate not only with France but also with all countries that face the risk of terrorism,” he said.
Touching on Boumeddiene’s arrival in Turkey, Davutoğlu said identifying her would have been “very difficult.”
“Turkey is a country to which millions of tourists come. Prevention becomes very hard when there is no advanced warning beforehand,” he added.
Davutoğlu is set to join other European leaders in an extraordinary show of support for France at a mass rally in Paris scheduled for Jan. 11.
There were calls for Davutoğlu to join the demonstration as a wave of global support continued following the bloody end to the Charlie Hebdo attacks’ sieges.
"Four prime ministers have announced that they would participate in the Paris rally so far. It will be an interesting test for Ankara," political commentator Cengiz Aktar said in a tweet on Jan. 9.
Davutoğlu will make the visit on the invitation of French President François Hollande and express Turkey's solidarity with the French people, Prime Ministry sources told semi-official Anadolu Agency.
PM to visit Germany after attending Paris rally
Davutoğlu will go to Berlin to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel after attending the solidarity demonstration in Paris following the massacre at satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.
Davutoğlu is expected to depart for the German capital on the evening of Jan. 11, to discuss a range of issues until Jan. 12 upon Merkel’s invitation, according to a statement from his office on Jan. 10.
In addition to bilateral relations, the prime minister is expected to discuss regional and international issues with his German counterpart, with Turkey-European Union relations and developments in Syria and Iraq at the top of the list, the statement said.
Davutoğlu is also expected to deliver a speech on Turkey’s foreign policy priorities at prominent German think-thank the Körber Foundation and meet representatives of the Turkish community and non-governmental organizations in Germany.
His visit also comes at a time when anti-Islamization and anti-immigration sentiment is rising in Germany, with a movement called the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (PEGIDA) holding weekly rallies in Dresden, attended by record numbers of people.
Germany, Europe’s most populous country with 80 million people, is home to about four million Muslims, mostly of Turkish origin.
Speaking to reporters at the airport before leaving for Paris, Davutoğlu also announced that he would visit Brussels on Jan. 15, followed by visits to the United Kingdom and Switzerland.