ANKARA, TURKEY —
Doubts expressed by Germany’s spy agency regarding the role of a U.S.-based cleric in last year’s coup attempt in Turkey are proof that Berlin supports the organization behind the attempt, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman said Sunday.
Ibrahim Kalin made the comment in a live interview with broadcaster CNN Turk.
No Gulen connection
On Saturday, German news magazine Der Spiegel published an interview with the head of the BND foreign intelligence agency, who said the Turkish government had failed to convince it that Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen was responsible for the coup attempt.
“Turkey has tried to convince us of that at every level but so far it has not succeeded,” Bruno Kahl was quoted as saying.
Kalin said those comments were proof that Berlin supported the coup.
Germany and Turkey have been locked in a deepening diplomatic row after Berlin banned some Turkish ministers from speaking to rallies of expatriate Turks ahead of a referendum next month, citing public safety concerns.
Another rally possible
There is a possibility that Turkish ministers could plan another rally in Germany ahead of an April 16 referendum on changing the constitution, Kalin said Sunday, a move that could further heighten tension with Berlin.
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.
Kalin made the comment on CNN Turk. Kalin said that “Turkophobia” was on the rise in Europe, as Ankara points out the West’s mistakes, adding that Turkey remains a country friendly to international investors.