Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Turkey Threatens Another Rally In Germany, Escalating Tensions Further

Turkey Threatens Another Rally In Germany, Escalating Tensions Further

Germany and Turkey have been caught up in a fresh spat after a rally backing outlawed Kurdish fighters in Turkey was held in Frankfurt and a top German intelligence official made controversial comments on last summer's failed coup against the Turkish government.

On Wednesday German foreign ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said the government had approved voting by the estimated 1.4 million Turkish nationals living in Germany who are eligible to cast ballots in the April 16 referendum.

Some of the participants carried flags and banners of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), as well as portraits of Kurdish nationalist leader Abdullah Ocalan.

Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said in a statement that the presidency "condemned in the strongest terms" the fact that the rally had been allowed to go ahead.

He said the demonstrators had used the upcoming Kurdish New Year festival of Newroz as a "pretext" for the rally as the new year only falls on Tuesday.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish government accuse Gulen of orchestrating Turkey's failed coup on July 15 in which more than 240 people were killed when rogue soldiers commandeered tanks, warplanes and helicopters, attacking parliament and attempting to overthrow the government.

Bruno Kahl, head of the BND foreign intelligence agency, claimed Ankara had failed to convince Germany that the cleric, Fethullah Gulen, was responsible for the coup attempt.

More civilians flee as fighting resumes in western Mosul
Iraqi troops have effectively sealed off Mosul from the rest of the territory IS controls in Iraq and Syria. Hundreds of thousands of civilians are still reported to be caught with the militants inside the city.

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

"Turkey has tried to convince us of that at every level but so far it has not succeeded", Kahl was quoted as saying by the "Spiegel" news magazine.

Erdogan is seeking support among Turks overseas for the referendum.

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

The protest brought swift condemnation from Turkey, which said Germany was allowing open support for terrorism.

Iyimaya said that certain European countries act in an obvious way against the constitutional changes that will be put into referendum next month.

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