Amid tension between Berlin and Ankara over President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s activities in Germany, the pro-government Star daily on Thursday targeted German foundations in Turkey, accusing them of being behind all social, ethnic and sectarian problems in the country.
Recalling that 22 German foundations and institutes have been active in Turkey, Star said an investigation has already been launched into the foundations by the Interior Ministry.
“Although those organizations seem to be conducting NGO and scientific activities, their budgets are covered by the German state and they de facto work under the control of the German intelligence service (BHD),” said Star in its front page story.
Mentioning the names of the Konrad Adenauer, Heinrich Böll, Friedrich Ebert and Friedrich Naumann foundations, the pro-Erdoğan daily repeated the claim that “Prof. Dr. Necip Hablemitoğlu was assassinated on Dec 18, 2002 for his critical statement about German foundations.”
The daily also reiterated its old assertions that Germany was behind environmentalist activities targeting Gezi Park, the Cerattepe mine project and a nuclear plant in Sinop.
Star’s story came on the same day that Erdoğan flies to Germany to participate in the G20 summit that will begin in Hamburg on July 7.
Erdoğan had told German weekly Die Zeit that Germany is committing suicide by not allowing him to speak to Turks living in Germany on the sidelines of the summit.
Berlin’s refusal to allow a possible rally by Erdoğan in Germany during the G20 summit strained relations between the two countries, which were already frayed due to a German veto of the entry into Germany of members of Erdoğan’s security detail who attacked protesters in Washington in May.
Berlin also warned Turkey on Monday not to hold any rallies at Turkish missions in Germany due to a ban on activities by non-EU leaders before the federal elections on Sept. 24.
At a press conference in Berlin, German Foreign Ministry spokesperson Martin Schafer warned Turkey not to violate the ban with a rally planned by Erdoğan.
He also added that the ban includes a speech by Erdoğan at a Turkish consulate and its distribution as a video message.