Germany angers Turkey with Gulen remarks and PKK rally

Peter Altmaier Chief of Staff of the German Chancellery

The comment was made by Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in an interview with broadcaster CNN Turk on March 19.

According to the Anadolu news agency, the ministry called Germany allowing use of PKK symbols during the marching a "thought-provoking case" and informed Germany's ambassador in Ankara about the discomfort on the issue.

"It is impossible to explain for German authorities to claim that Turkey's elected representatives' meeting with their citizens is unsafe, but to treat terrorists as legitimate actors", Kalin added.

The presidential aide accused some European countries of attempting to "interfere [in] the referendum that will take place on April 16 in Turkey and took up a position in favour of a "No" vote". "Turkey has tried on different levels to convince us of that fact, but they have not succeeded", foreign intelligence service chief Bruno Kahl told the German daily Der Spiegel.

More than 40,000 people have been killed since the PKK launched its insurgency against the Turkish state in 1984.

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

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has said Erdogan is taking advantage of a sentiment many people of Turkish origin have in Germany that they are neither accepted nor welcomed.

Turkey has been locked in a feud with both Germany and the Netherlands after both countries prevented its ministers from addressing rallies of expatriate Turks, citing safety concerns.

"It's an effort to invalidate all the information we have given them on FETO".

The Turkish government blames Gulen's network of followers in the military for the abortive putsch last July, when a group of rogue soldiers seized tanks, helicopters and war planes to attack parliament and attempt to overthrow the government.

Tensions are already running high between Berlin and Ankara after German authorities refused to allow some Turkish ministers to campaign in the country for a "yes" vote in the April 16 referendum that would hand Erdogan an executive presidency.

The constitutional change would give Erdogan sweeping new powers.

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