Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Germany angers Turkey with Gulen remarks and PKK rally

Germany angers Turkey with Gulen remarks and PKK rally

Mr Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said in a statement: "It is unacceptable to see PKK symbols and slogans. when Turkish ministers and lawmakers are being prevented from meeting their own citizens".

There is a possibility that Turkish ministers could plan another rally in Germany ahead of an April 16 referendum on changing the constitution, President Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman said on Sunday, a move that could further heighten tension with Berlin.

Tension has been rising between Turkey and some European Union countries after a number of Turkish politicians were barred from campaigning in Europe.

Julia Kloeckner, vice-president of Merkel's CDU party, also reacted strongly to Erdogan's comments stating that the Turkish leader seemed to have "lost his mind".

The Turkish Yes/NO constitutional referendum is set to be held on April 16.

On those who urge Turkey "to speak softly but carry a big stick", Erdogan said "those days are over".

The comments come as the Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned the German ambassador to express Ankara's anger over a Kurdish rally held in Frankfurt on Saturday. A number of high-ranking Turkish officials were to head the rallies among Turkish communities overseas in theirs efforts to secure support for national constitutional reform which would extend presidential powers.

Erdogan declared that the current policy of a number of European states is based on fear of Turkey's power.

In an interview published by Hamburg weekly Der Spiegel, Germany's foreign minister suggested that the most Turkey can hope for is to one day achieve a "privileged partnership" with the EU.

Police in Frankfurt, where hundreds of officers were deployed to the event, described the protest as peaceful and said on Twitter that most of the demonstrators had complied with German laws, adding: "We want to guarantee they can exercise their fundamental rights".

The relations between Berlin and Ankara became tense after German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel was arrested in Istanbul in February over alleged links to a terrorist organization and terrorist propaganda.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly said that Gulen's group was running "a parallel state" within Turkey's government, taking orders from outside and following an alternative agenda. Against my brothers who live in Germany, and against my ministers and lawmakers who visit there.

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