Turkey summons German ambassador over PKK activities

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Foreign Minister of Turkey Mevlüt Cavuşoğlu (L) is welcomed by German ambassador to Turkey Martin Erdmann (C) and his wife Marion Erdmann (R) during his visit to German Embassy on January 15, 2016 at in Ankara, Turkey. Abdulhamid Hosbas / Anadolu Agency

The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Saturday summoned Martin Erdmann, the German ambassador to Turkey, to protest activities in Germany linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

“We condemn the permission given for an activity and propaganda of the terrorist PKK in the German city of Cologne. Our position has been expressed to the German ambassador, who was summoned to the ministry,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

The ministry noted that PKK symbols and posters of Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed PKK leader, were permitted and a message from the acting leader of the terrorist organization was relayed during a festival in Cologne, despite the fact that all are banned in Germany.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry on Sept. 9 issued a travel warning for citizens visiting Germany, saying there has been anti-Turkish and racist rhetoric by German politicians during campaigns for the upcoming elections, also adding that Berlin has been supporting terrorist groups.

The foreign ministry accused Germany of supporting the PKK and the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused by Turkish authorities of masterminding a failed coup last year.
Ankara’s ties with Berlin deteriorated rapidly especially after the failed coup since Turkey accused Germany of harboring people linked to the Gülen movement who fled a government witch-hunt back home.

The ties became further strained after Turkey put several German citizens, including journalists and human rights defenders, in pretrial detention.

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