Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Turkey summons German envoy over Kurdish rally in Frankfurt

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday accused German Chancellor Angela Merkel of "supporting terrorists", part of a spiralling diplomatic row. Significantly more people turned up than organisers had been expecting for the rally which took place on the Kurdish New Year's Day.

In an interview with Der Spiegel published on Saturday, Germany's foreign intelligence chief Bruno Kahl said Ankara had repeatedly tried to convince Berlin that Gulen was behind the coup "but they have not succeeded".

The group is listed as a terror organisation not just by Turkey but also by the European Union and the United States.

Mr Khalin claimed President Erdogan could plan a rally to address Turks in Germany before the April 16 referendum on changing the constitution, a move that would further heighten tensions with Berlin.

Turkey's presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin slammed German authorities on Saturday for allowing PKK supporters to rally in the city of Frankfurt.

"The German ambassador was invited - was summoned - to the Foreign Ministry and this was condemned in the strongest way", he said.

Turkey has long accused Germany of providing refuge to Kurdish and other militants.

Participants of the rally, waving PKK flags, shouted support for "no" vote in the upcoming referendum, in which a "Yes" vote would introduce an executive presidency advocated by the government and Erdogan, who protesters also condemned. "Why are they protecting them?"

The ban on Turkish officials addressing rallies of expatriate Turks in various European countries, including the Netherlands and Germany, has brought relations between Ankara and the EU to a new low. The Turkish government says the changes would boost stability and make governance more efficient.

"It is unacceptable to see PKK symbols and slogans. when Turkish ministers and lawmakers are being prevented from meeting their own citizens", he said.

Tens of thousands of people were arrested and civil servants were sacked in the purges after the coup attempt.

Gulen, a former Erdogan ally who has lived in self-imposed exile in the U.S. since 1999, has denied the charges and condemned the coup.

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