Germany on Wednesday tried to rein back the heated controversy created by its latest spat with Turkey, its crucial partner in efforts to stem mass migration.
Germany rushed to mitigate the aftermath of the tiff after Ankara lashed out over a leaked government report alleging Turkey was a hub for ‘Islamist’ groups.
Turkey and Germany have had a series of rows in recent months, just as the European Union has been trying to secure Turkey’s help in tackling the influx of migrants to Europe.
Ankara has also been riled by criticism from the West of its crackdown following the abortive putsch on July 15.
The government report, revealed by German public broadcaster ARD this week, cited allegations on Turkey becoming a hub for extremist groups and that President Tayyip Erdogan had an “ideological affinity” to Hamas in Gaza, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and groups of armed Islamist opposition in Syria.
German government spokesman Steffen Seibert declined to comment on the report, which ARD said was confidential and commissioned by the interior ministry upon a parliamentary request from the leftist Linke party.
But Seibert said Berlin still viewed Ankara as a partner in the fight against ISIS.
“Where people work, mistakes can happen,” Dimroth contended in hopes of vindicating the hypercritical report. Turkey reacted with fury to the report.
“The allegations are a new manifestation of the twisted mentality, which for some time has been trying to wear down our country, by targeting our president and government,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
Turkey’s foreign ministry said Germany was guilty of double standards and that it should be more supportive of Turkey in its fight against the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), listed as a terrorist group by the European Union and the United States.
“It is obvious that behind these allegations are some political circles in Germany known for their double-standard attitudes in the fight against terror,” the ministry said in the statement.
“As a country which sincerely fights against terror of every sort whatever its source, Turkey expects that its other partners and allies act in the same way.”