Turkish FM on detention of 2 German citizens in Turkey: They’re our citizens, too

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu / AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Sunday responded to the reaction of the German government to the detention of two German citizens of Turkish origin in Antalya province on Friday over links to last year’s failed coup, saying they are Turkish citizens, too.

Speaking to party members at the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Antalya provincial branch on Sunday, Çavuşoğlu accused Germany of protecting coup plotters.

Germany stands up whenever we arrest a FETÖ member. What is it to you?” the Turkish foreign minister said, claiming the detainees are also citizens of Turkey.

FETÖ is a derogatory term invented by the AKP and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to refer to followers of the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused of mounting a failed coup last year. The movement strongly denies government’s accusations.

Çavuşoğlu also said the German government is protecting outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) followers by delaying over 4,500 criminal complaints against PKK sympathizers in Germany and requests by Turkey to hand over terror suspects.

Why do you give status to a traitor who attempted a coup? Why do you give them refuge in your country? Is it because of enmity to Turkey or love for them? It is because of enmity towards Turkey, or because you love FETÖ and the PKK a lot,” Çavuşoğlu said.

Speaking on neo-Nazi terrorist murders committed by the National Socialist Underground (NSU) against Turks in Germany between 2000 and 2007, the Turkish foreign minister also accused Germany of letting the NSU kill Turks with the support of German intelligence.

You let neo-Nazis massacre [Turks]. Your intelligence supported them, too. They eliminated all witnesses one by one,” he said.

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