Ankara, Berlin resolve row over German companies

Ankara, Berlin resolve row over German companies

Ankara, Berlin resolve row over German companies Turkey has said it has withdrawn its request from Germany via Interpol on German companies that were engaged in economic activities with Turkish firms linked to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), reiterating once again that there were no judicial investigations into German companies based in Turkey. 

“In a phone conversation between the two interior ministers, a communication problem at the Interpol’s existing mechanism has been detected. Upon this, Turkey withdrew its request for information from Germany over the weekend,” government spokesperson Bekir Bozdağ said in a press conference after a weekly cabinet meeting on July 24. 

Bozdağ referred to Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu’s conversation with German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere on early July 24 which ended the row over German companies. “There are no investigations being carried out on German companies in Turkey,” Bozdağ said, explaining that the information sought from Germany was about the economic activities of FETÖ-affiliated Turkish companies.
Bozdağ’s statement followed a written statement from the Interior Ministry, which cited a communication problem at Interpol without information that the request had been withdrawn. 

“It has been discovered that a communication problem had occurred while [Turkey’s] demand was dispatched to Germany via Interpol,” the ministry said, informing that Turkey had requested standard information from all countries to which 140 FETÖ-related companies had been exporting their products.

The statement disclosed an existing mechanism between the members of Interpol through their liaison officers and a communication problem in transmitting Turkey’s demands to Germany.

The relationship between the two countries has long been tense after Germany granted asylum to FETÖ-linked former military personnel and civil servants and Turkey’s arrests of a handful of German nationals over espionage and terror-related charges. Reports that Turkey launched an investigation into 700 German firms, including giants Daimler and BASF, added further fuel to the tension, with Berlin considering whether or not to impose economic sanctions on Ankara. 

On July 21, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he had asked both the Interior Minister and the intelligence chief about such reports and they assured him that no German firms were under investigation.

Turkey withdrew its demand, Berlin says

The spokesperson of the German Interior Ministry, Tobias Plate, said Turkey has formally withdrawn its request for German help in investigating nearly 700 German firms suspected of backing terrorism. 

“[The Interior Minister] underlined that there were no investigations against German firms by Turkish authorities in Turkey or in Germany,” Plate said.

Bozdağ recalled that it was his government that created a climate of confidence for foreign investors and this policy will continue in the future as well.