Turkey

Turkish justice minister hits out at Germany

Bekir Bozdag accuses German leaders of interfering in Turkey's domestic politics

04.11.2016
Turkish justice minister hits out at Germany Turkey's Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag

By Duygu Yener

ANKARA

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag on Friday became the latest figure to criticize Germany for remarks about the July 15 coup attempt.

He accused Chancellor Angela Merkel and her ministers of interfering in Turkey’s justice system.

“Both Merkel and the government spokesperson thought they have right to opine on all ongoing cases,” Bozdag said during a visit to a court in Ankara.

“They have to consider Turkey as independent and sovereign and regard the Turkish justice system as being as independent and neutral as the German justice system. You cannot interfere in Turkey’s interior issues. That is not a German minister’s business.”

Since the coup bid, Western leaders have voiced concerns over the arrests of suspects said to be linked to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), which Turkey has accused of being behind the attempt to overthrow the government. The attempt coup saw 246 people martyred.

“The ones who compare Turkey with other [countries] in terms of the human rights and constitutional state principles should first criticize themselves,” Bozdag said.

He added: “Neither the German chancellor nor the commissioner of Europe have the right to give Turkey a lesson. We are open to all kinds of criticisms when they start regarding Turkey objectively and independently.”

On Thursday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized Germany for harboring FETO members.

Relations between the two countries have been strained in recent months, largely due to Berlin’s reluctance to take strong action against terrorist groups such as FETO and the PKK.

Last month, Turkey formally asked the German authorities to arrest and hand over two prosecutors accused of FETO links.

However, German Justice Minister Heiko Maas said on Tuesday that Berlin would not extradite any suspects who faced “politically motivated” charges in Turkey.

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