Berlin says Turkey dropped terror link charge against German firms

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The company logo of German carmaker Daimler and Mercedes-Benz / AFP PHOTO / Tobias SCHWARZ

Germany said Turkey had informed it on Monday that it had dropped accusations of “terrorism” funding against nearly 700 German companies amid an escalating dispute between the NATO partners.

A spokesman for the German interior ministry said his Turkish counterpart had contacted him about the allegations leveled against nearly 700 German firms including giants Daimler and BASF.

The spokesman, Tobias Plate, said Berlin had been told that the list of companies with Turkish operations being investigated for “financing of terrorism” lodged with Interpol in May had been withdrawn, saying the suspicion had been based on a “communication problem.”

The Turkish interior minister “assured us that the Turkish authorities were not investigating companies on the list in Turkey or in Germany,” he said.

German newspaper Die Zeit reported last week that Turkey had handed Germany a list of 68 companies and individuals suspected of links to terrorism due to alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement, blamed for Turkey’s failed coup last year. The movement denies the charge.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday denied the claims, saying the reports were “black propaganda” aimed at pressuring German companies not to invest in Turkey.

“You have no power to darken Turkey,” Erdoğan said.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım had also dismissed the report as “entirely a lie” and urged Berlin to solve an escalating crisis through dialogue.

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