Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has lashed out at the German government claiming that the migrant policies of Chancellor Angela Merkel have made Germany a haven for terrorists.
At an event in Ankara, President Erdoğan claimed that Germany was aiding and supporting known terrorist groups. The controversial president, who has systematically consolidated his power in the wake of the failed coup in July, said that Germany was harbouring members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), reports Zeit Online.
“Germany has become an important port for terrorists,” said Erdoğan. He warned that the German open door policy during the height of the migrant crisis would come back to haunt the Germans saying: “Hey Germany, be aware that these terrorists will hit you like a boomerang.”
The president also accused Germany of protecting members of the movement of Fethullah Gülen whom he blames for the attempted coup in July. Erdoğan claimed that Germany is now likely to become the home of the Gülen movement and that harbouring terrorists will be bad for the future of Germany.
Erdoğan also addressed the concerns of Merkel and other European leaders on his crack down and arrests of prominent journalists and other critics of the Turkish president’s regime. Erdoğan fired back at European leaders saying: “No one has to worry about our internal affairs.”
After the failed coup in the summer, the Turkish government requested the extradition of some 4,000 supporters of Fethullah Gülen and the PKK. The Germans did not reply to the request and Erdoğan accused Germany of caring more about journalists than tackling terrorism.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu also made headlines on Thursday when he renewed the long-standing threat of cancelling the Turkey-European Union migrant deal due to a lack of progress on visa-free travel for Turkish citizens.
“We stick to the agreements with the EU and expect Europe to do the same. If this does not happen, we will suspend the agreements with the EU in this area,” he stated in an interview with German paper Neue Zürcher Zeitung.
The reason for delay on visa-free travel has been the lack of reform in the country’s harsh anti-terrorism laws which have been used to arrest critics of the Turkish government, including journalists. The laws have even had their reach extended to anyone who simply insults the Turkish president.
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