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Foreign Minister Steinmeier on the situation in Turkey

08.11.2016

On the margins of a press conference with his counterparts from Sweden, Denmark and Finland today (8 November), Foreign Minister Steinmeier commented as follows on the situation in Turkey:

I have to say that especially after the recent comments by my Turkish opposite number became public, I really cannot understand the grounds for the allegations made in Ankara.

From the outset, we here in Germany did not underestimate the danger of the attempted coup. I stated many times publicly in Germany and also to my Turkish colleague that we have great respect for the fact that the Turkish people was prepared to defend the democratic institutions and, in particular, parliament. And I have always said that I understand that political and legal measures have to be taken in response to an attempted coup of this kind, for we, too, would have done the same thing. That goes without saying.

However, I believe it also goes without saying that this has to be done in line with the rule of law – and that mass arrests have no place here. Against this background, we made critical remarks in reaction to the arrest of members of parliament during the last few days.

Today I read that my Turkish counterpart has accused Germany of supporting the PKK in some way. I am certain that Ankara knows that the opposite is true. The PKK and other extremist parties from Turkey are banned as terrorist organisations in Germany. They are criminally prosecuted. I therefore cannot understand the remarks made today in Turkey about Germany. Repeating this allegation does not make it right
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