Turkey summons German diplomat over BND chief remarks on Gülen
ANKARA –Anadolu AgencyTurkey has summoned the German Embassy’s Chargé D’Affairs to its Foreign Ministry in reaction to the German Federal Intelligence Service’s (BND) statements that they have not been convinced the Fethullahist movement was behind the July 2016 coup attempt.
“All evidence consisting of detainees’ statements, records of communication before and after the coup attempt and the FETÖ-linked civilians caught at Akıncılar air base lay forth the relationship between the putschists and FETÖ,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement late March 21.
Last weekend, BND head Bruno Kahl told Der Spiegel news magazine that Germany had yet to be convinced of the group’s involvement in the coup attempt.
Ankara, however, insists the organization was behind the coup attempt, which resulted in 249 deaths.
EU Minister Ömer Çelik told private broadcaster Haber Türk that Kahl’s statement indicated Germany would protect a group that Turkey - its NATO ally - considered a terrorist organization. He also said Kahl’s comments were “strange,” as intelligence chiefs usually avoided being under the spotlight.
[HH] Turkey slams Netherlands for PKK meeting
In a separate written statement late March 21, the Turkish Foreign Ministry slammed the Netherlands for allowing the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to hold a rally on the occasion of celebrating Nevruz.
The Nevruz festival, which marks the start of a new year, has been celebrated for more than 18 centuries across Anatolia, the Middle East and central Asia.
“It is unacceptable for the Netherlands to allow a terrorist organization to hold an event where slogans were made against a referendum to be held in our country,” it said.
Relations between the Netherlands and Turkey deteriorated after Dutch authorities refused to allow Turkish ministers to campaign in the country for a “Yes” vote in the forthcoming constitutional referendum that would grant wide-ranging powers to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
It accused the Dutch government of having “violated the agreements that regulate diplomatic and consular relations and the freedom of expression and assembly by preventing the Turkish community living in their lands from meeting with the Turkish authorities”.
The ministry said the Netherlands, which, along with other EU members, recognizes the PKK as a terrorist group, but had allowed PKK sympathizers to use the group’s symbols and pictures of its jailed leader Abdullah Öcalan at the event.
Meanwhile, German officials on March 18, allowed PKK supporters to march in Frankfurt with banners and flags despite a ban on the display of PKK symbols in public places.
Germany had also angered Ankara by canceling referendum campaign events planned by Turkish ministers and Erdoğan.