Angela Merkel, Meeting With Erdogan in Turkey, Emphasizes Free Speech


Date posted: February 3, 2017

ANKARA, Turkey — Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany emphasized the importance of freedom of opinion in talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey on Thursday, during a visit meant to help improve frayed ties between the two NATO allies.

In her first trip to Ankara since a failed military coup in Turkey in July, Ms. Merkel said she had agreed with Mr. Erdogan on the need for closer cooperation in the fight against terrorism, including by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or P.K.K.

Germany and Turkey have been at odds over Ankara’s crackdown on dissidents since the abortive July 15 coup, as well as Turkish allegations, rejected by Berlin, that Germany is harboring Kurdish and far-left militants.

“In such a time of profound political upheaval, everything must be done to continue to protect the separation of powers and, above all, freedom of opinion and the diversity of society,” Ms. Merkel said at a news conference when asked about concerns over proposed constitutional changes that would strengthen Mr. Erdogan’s powers. She added that she had also raised the issue of press freedom.

“Opposition is part of democracy,” Ms. Merkel said.

Turkey’s allies, including Germany, fear that Mr. Erdogan is using the coup attempt as a pretext to curtail dissent, and Mr. Erdogan’s opponents fear that his planned constitutional changes will lead to an authoritarian state.

“It is out of the question for the separation of powers to be abolished,” Mr. Erdogan said of the proposals, which would replace Turkey’s parliamentary system with an executive presidency.

Mr. Erdogan also said that Turkey might provide evidence to the German authorities after around 40 mostly high-ranking Turkish soldiers who worked at NATO facilities in Germany were reported to have requested asylum.

Turkey’s deputy prime minister, Veysi Kaynak, said on Wednesday that Berlin was sheltering members of what Ankara calls the Gulenist Terrorist Organization: the network of the United States-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, which Turkey blames for the coup attempt. Mr. Gulen denies involvement.

“If the Gulenists involved in the coup are fleeing to Germany, the Justice Ministry may send information and documents,” Mr. Erdogan said, adding that the United States should take quicker action on an extradition request for Mr. Gulen.

Turkey’s defense minister has urged Berlin to reject the asylum applications and warned that a failure to do so could damage relations. Berlin has said the applications will be considered case by case.

Ms. Merkel, who later met with Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, said the two countries could do more together to fight the P.K.K., which is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.

“We talked in particular about how the P.K.K., and everything associated with it in Germany, is being observed,” Ms. Merkel said, “and how we’re also taking action against it, because as I said, the P.K.K. is, as a terrorist organization, banned in Germany, too.”

Source: New York Times , February 2, 2017


Related News

Campaign seeks donations for purge-victim Turkish refugees in Greece

A fundraising campaign has been launched for the Turkish refugees who cross into Greece in order to escape an ongoing purge and persecution of Turkish government led by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

History of politically motivated assault on Bank Asya

The politically motivated operation aimed at taking over Bank Asya is one that has unfolded step by step, marked by public statements from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as well as other top Justice and Development Party (AK Party) officials.

Turkey’s Real Coup [by Erdogan] Has Begun

Erdoğan is a dictator, but he might not have achieved his ambition absent Western naïveté. He and his supporters played American and European officials like a fiddle. He sought to disempower the Turkish military but couched his ambition to do so in the rhetoric of democratic reform.

AKP deputy calls on Turkey’s religious officials to declare Gülen followers apostates

Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) İstanbul deputy Metin Külünk has said Turkey’s top religious officials should declare supporters of the Gülen movement apostates, the Yeniakit daily reported on Monday. Erdoğan himself has called Gülen movement people “terrorists,” “traitors,” “vampires,” “leeches,” “tumors” and “viruses.”

An Indian professor’s reflections on Erdogan’s visit to India, crackdown on Gulen movement

There has been no evidence of any terrorist activity by the followers of Gulen in any part of the world including Turkey. In India, they have been running their institutions: schools, coaching Institutes, and dormitories for more than 15 years, but none has been accused of any kind of terrorism and crime.

Former Daimler chairman: Turkey’s purge reminds of me beginning of Nazi era

Edzard Reuter, the son of the first mayor of West Berlin Ernst Reuter and the former chairman of the German automaker Daimler-Benz, said Turkey’s post-coup purge recalls what happened during early years of Nazi regime at his home country.

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

India must understand Erdogan’s ideological motives for seeking extradition of Gülenists

29-Year-Old Judge, A Victim Of Post-Coup Witch Hunt, Dies In Prison

Hospitality conference draws strong participation in Bangkok

Government drags military into politics

MHP: Gov’t should not harass its citizens who open Turkish schools abroad

MİT to monitor all religious groups as potential parts of parallel state

What is behind the schools associated with Gülen?

Copyright 2024 Hizmet News