ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey summoned the German ambassador to Ankara on Saturday over what it said was a Kurdish militant rally in Cologne, the foreign ministry said, in a further sign of strained relations between the NATO allies.
“We condemn the organization of a rally in the German city of Cologne by the extensions of the PKK terrorist organizations, and the allowing of terror propaganda. We have voiced our reaction in a strong manner to Germany’s ambassador to Ankara, who was called to the ministry,” it said.
The statement appeared to refer to a protest on Sept. 3 when some 25,000 Kurdish supporters demonstrated in Cologne against Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, some carrying posters of Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is listed as a terrorist group by the European Union and the United States, and is banned in Germany.
Turkey has accused Germany of not doing enough to stop PKK activities.
“The double standard approach Germany has been following with regards to the global fight against terrorism is worrying. We call on Germany to show a principled stance against all kinds of terror,” the ministry said.
Relations with Europe have been strained since President Tayyip Erdogan launched a crackdown after a failed coup last year.
More than 50,000 people have been jailed pending trial and some 150,000 people have been sacked or suspended from their jobs.
Germany has criticized the mass arrests, refused to extradite people Turkey says were involved in the putsch attempt and demanded the release of around a dozen German citizens arrested in recent months.
Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Robin Pomeroy