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Tension flares as Turkey accuses Germany of harbouring terrorists

Tension flares as Turkey accuses Germany of harbouring terrorists

Turkish President Reccep Tayyip Erdogan has come hard on Germany accusing it of ‘aiding and harbouring terror’ while also lashing out at the European power house over cancellation of ministers’ rallies.

Ankara and Berlin are now said to be locked in acrimony over the cancellation of two Turkish ministers’ rallies in German towns, and the ongoing detention in Turkey of a German reporter.

“They need to be put on trial for aiding and harbouring terror,” Edogan said on Friday, criticising German authorities for allowing outlawed Kurdish leaders to hold regular public meetings in Germany, yet this week blocked rallies where Turkish ministers sought to address the Turkish community.

Read also: German school bans Muslim students from praying publicly

In her comments to Erdogan’s accusations, German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected Ankara’s accusations that her government had a hand in scrapping the rallies, saying the decisions were “taken by municipalities, and as a matter of principle, we apply freedom of expression in Germany”.

Commenting on jailed Deniz Yucel, a correspondent for Germany’s Die Welt newspaper who is in detention, Erdogan in his speech said he, was a “German agent” and a “representative” of the banned Kurdish rebel group, PKK.

Yucel, who has both Turkish and German citizenship, was detained on February 14 after his reports about a hacker attack on the email account of Turkey’s energy minister, according to Die Welt.

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