ANKARA, March 19 (Reuters) – Turkey on Sunday accused Germany of supporting the community of a U.S.-based Muslim cleric it blames for final 12 months’s tried coup, feedback more likely to irritate a diplomatic feud between the 2 international locations.

Germany and Turkey have been locked in a deepening row after Berlin banned some Turkish ministers from talking to rallies of expatriate Turks forward of a referendum subsequent month, citing public security considerations.

On Saturday, German information journal Der Spiegel printed an interview with the pinnacle of Germany’s BND overseas intelligence company, who stated Ankara had did not persuade it that the cleric Fethullah Gulen was answerable for the coup try.

“Turkey has tried to persuade us of that at each degree however to date it has not succeeded,” Bruno Kahl was quoted as saying.

President Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman stated Kahl’s feedback had been proof Germany was supporting Gulen’s community, which Ankara refers to because the “Gulenist Terrorist Organisation” or “FETO.”

“It’s an effort to invalidate all the knowledge we now have given them on FETO. It’s an indication of their assist for FETO,” Ibrahim Kalin advised broadcaster CNN Turk.

“Why are they defending them? As a result of these are helpful devices for Germany to make use of towards Turkey.”

There was no response from Germany to the feedback.

Ankara blames Gulen’s community of followers within the navy for the abortive putsch in July, when a gaggle of rogue troopers seized tanks, helicopters and struggle planes to assault parliament and try and overthrow the federal government. Greater than 240 individuals had been killed within the coup try.

Gulen, a former Erdogan ally who has lived in self-imposed exile in the US since 1999, has denied the costs and condemned the coup.

Charles Mostoller / Reuters

U.S. primarily based cleric Fethullah Gulen at his house in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, U.S. July 29, 2016.


Kalin stated there was a risk Erdogan might plan a rally to deal with Turks in Germany earlier than the April 16 referendum on altering the structure, a transfer that might additional heighten tensions with Berlin.

The constitutional change would give Erdogan sweeping new powers. Critics say it will give him an excessive amount of energy.

At a speech on Sunday in Istanbul, Erdogan lashed out towards a Turkish-German journalist now in jail in Turkey, calling him a terrorist agent and including “Thank God he has been arrested.”

Erdogan, who was talking at a gathering of an Islamic basis, stated the reporter, Deniz Yucel of Germany’s Die Welt newspaper, can be tried by Turkey’s impartial judiciary.

Authorities arrested Yucel, a twin Turkish and German nationwide, final month on costs of propaganda in assist of a terrorist group and inciting the general public to violence.

He was initially detained after he reported on emails leftist hacker collective had purportedly obtained from the non-public account of Berat Albayrak, Turkey’s vitality minister and Erdogan’s son-in-law.

(Extra reporting by Michelle Martin in Berlin; writing by David Dolan; modifying by Jason Neely/Keith Weir)