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Turkish leader slams Germany for wavering on extraditions

Published:Friday | November 4, 2016 | 11:00 AM

ISTANBUL (AP):

Turkey's president harshly criticised Germany yesterday, accusing the country of supporting terrorism and slamming comments by the German justice minister suggesting Berlin may not extradite suspects wanted by Turkey in cases it considers politically motivated.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attacked comments by German Justice Minister Heiko Maas, who said on Tuesday that Berlin could refuse to extradite cases related to the "so-called [post-coup] cleansing that is taking place".

Maas was referring to the mass arrests, firings of civil servants and news outlet closures that have accompanied Turkey's clampdown on the movement led by US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen. Turkey accuses Gulen of masterminding a failed coup in July that left over 270 people dead. Gulen has denied planning the coup attempt.

Specifically slamming Germany's hesitation to return prosecutors suspected of being members of the Gulen movement, Erdogan accused Germany of having "become a shelter" for terrorists and for having no regard for other countries' national security sensitivities.

"We have no expectations from you, but you will forever go down in history for supporting terrorism," he added.