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German National Detained In Turkey In Post Coup Attempt Crackdown

BERLIN (AFP) – A German national has been detained in Turkey as part of the country’s crackdown on suspected supporters of Fethullah Gulen in the wake of last month’s failed coup, Berlin confirmed Friday.

The Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper said the woman was arrested several days ago after books were found at her home suggesting she had links with the Gulen movement or was a member of it.

The Turkish government has accused Gulen of ordering the July 15 attempt to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and has launched a sweeping crackdown on people connected to the preacher who lives in the United States.

Germany’s foreign ministry confirmed the accuracy of the Sueddeutsche Zeitung report to AFP, without giving details.

The newspaper said it had no information about the identity of the detained German, whether she was a dual national or whether she lived in Turkey.

The German embassy in Ankara has been trying to contact the woman for several days, without success, the newspaper said.

Tensions have been growing between Germany and Turkey over the German parliament’s decision to brand as genocide the World War I-era Armenian massacre by Ottoman forces and Ankara’s threat to back out of a crucial deal with the EU on migrants.

There was fresh anger from Ankara earlier this week when a German court ruled that speeches by Turkish politicians including Erdogan could not be shown live at a rally in his support in Cologne.

Berlin has also criticised the Turkish government’s post-coup crackdown, in which more than 60,000 people in the military, judiciary, civil service and education system have been dismissed, detained or put under investigation for suspected links to the Gulen movement.

Gulen has denied any involvement in the coup.

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