Turkey attacks German allegations of Islamist extremist hub

Turkey has lashed out at Germany after a German government report said that Turkey had become a center for Islamist extremist groups.

August 17, 2016 13:26
1 minute read.

PALESTINIANS HOLD a poster of President Tayyip Erdogan during a demonstration yesterday in Gaza in support of the Turkish government.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

ANKARA - Turkey lashed out at Germany on Wednesday, saying that allegations that Turkey had become a central hub for Islamist groups reflected a "twisted mentality" that has been trying to target President Tayyip Erdogan.

German broadcaster ARD this week published part of a confidential German government report, which it said marked the first official assessment linking Erdogan and Turkey's government to support for Islamist and terrorist groups.

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The report said Turkey had become "the central hub for Islamist groups in the Middle East", ARD reported.

In a statement, Turkey's foreign ministry said: "The allegations are a new manifestation of the twisted mentality, which for some time has been trying to wear down our country, by targeting our president and government." Tensions between Ankara and the West have been aggravated by the failed coup attempt on July 15, when a group of rogue soldiers tied to overthrow the government, killing 240 people.

Ankara has been incensed by what it sees as an insensitive response from its Western allies, accusing them of only showing concern for the crackdown that has followed the coup.

The West worries Erdogan is using the coup to stifle dissent. More than 35,000 people have been detained in the purge, and tens of thousands of civil servants dismissed or suspended from the police, judiciary and schools.

Ankara has also accused Europe of not doing enough to tackle militant groups at home. It believes European governments should be a stronger partner in its fight against the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), seen as a terrorist group by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.

"It is obvious that behind these allegations are some political circles in Germany known for their double-standard attitudes in the fight against terror, including the bloody actions of the PKK terror group which continues to target Turkey," the foreign ministry said.

"As a country which sincerely fights against terror of every sort whatever its source, Turkey expects that its other partners and allies act in the same way."

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