Turkey wants crackdown on Gulen supporters in Berlin, mayor says

Turkey has tried to extend its post-coup crackdown to Berlin and influence the city's politics, the Berlin mayor told the Sunday edition of popular German tabloid Bild.

Turkey proposed that Berlin city officials actively oppose supporters of US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, a former-ally-turned-foe of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whom Ankara accuses of organizing the failed July 15 coup, Mayor Michael Mueller said.

"I was approached and asked by a Turkish government official whether we would be prepared to critically confront the Gulen movement in Berlin and, if necessary, to support measures against it," Mueller said.

"I rejected the idea and made it very clear that Turkish conflicts could not be waged in our city," the Social Democrat said.

Since the putsch, Ankara has carried out a massive crackdown to purge its military and civil service of alleged Gulen supporters.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the government has suspended or dismissed more than 81,000 judges, ministry employees, soldiers and other civil servants, according to a CNN Turk report from Saturday.

"We need no style scores from Mr. Erdogan on the topic of democracy and human rights," Mueller added.

Diplomatic relations between Germany and Turkey reached a fever pitch at several points this year.

In April, the Turkish president launched a defamation case against a German comedian whose lude poem insulted him, and German lawmakers further inflamed tensions with the June 2 declaration that the Ottoman Turks committed genocide with the mass killing of Armenians during World War I.

Last update: Sun, 14/08/2016 - 13:26

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