Turkey has blacklisted more than 680 German companies it suspects of supporting terrorism, a German security source told Reuters on Friday.
According to Reuters, this is 10 times the number that was previously reported on Wednesday by the German Die Zeit weekly.
The report by Die Zeit said Turkey had named 68 companies, including Germany’s industry giants Daimler and BASF, as supporters of the faith-based Gülen movement in a list sent to Germany’s federal police.
The list names carmaker Daimler and chemicals group BASF as backers of terrorism but also includes a Turkish fast food restaurant and a late-night food store.
The list was sent to German authorities several weeks ago, the newspaper said, recalling that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan claimed to have sent 4,500 files on alleged supporters of the movement to Germany and demanded that they be extradited to Turkey.
“In Berlin, the list is described as ‘absurd’ and ‘ridiculous’,” the weekly added.
Turkish officials, including Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, denied the news reports, calling them “absolutely false.”
Turkey’s Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekçi said: “The allegation that Turkish authorities gave Germany the names of German companies linked to Gulen is not true. This is fake news,” during an interview with Reuters on Thursday.
Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Germany would reorient its Turkey policy and review export credit guarantees to German companies investing in Turkey due to the lack of “legal security” in Turkey. Gabriel’s remarks came after Turkey’s arrest of six human rights activists on Tuesday, including a German national. The companies which are most likely to be affected by the warning are Deutsche Bank AG, Siemens AG and Volkswagen AG as well as German manufacturers that employ thousands of workers in Turkey.
Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed 249 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.
Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.
Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15.
The Turkish Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.