BERLIN (Reuters) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as saying that Germany was “committing suicide” by not letting him speak to Turks in Germany during his visit to the country for a G20 leaders summit, which starts on Friday.
“Germany is committing suicide,” he told German weekly Die Zeit, adding: “Germany must correct this mistake.”
Erdogan also said as long as Germany did not send supporters of Erdogan’s foe Fethullah Gulen back to Turkey, his country would view Germany as a land that protected terrorists.
Ankara has blamed Gulen, a Muslim cleric, for orchestrating a failed coup last July. Gulen has denied involvement.
However, Erdogan also said Germany and Turkey needed each other and on a personal level he did not have a problem with Chancellor Angela Merkel.
(Reporting by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Michael Nienaber)