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Turkey summons German ambassador as tensions mount
September 18, 2017 / 12:20 PM / in a month

Turkey summons German ambassador as tensions mount

BERLIN (Reuters) - Turkey summoned Germany’s ambassador to its foreign ministry on Monday, Berlin said, amid a mounting row between the two NATO powers.

Der Spiegel magazine said Ankara wanted to raise a German parliamentary motion last year that declared the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman forces a genocide - a description that Turkey has long fiercely rejected.

There was no immediate comment from Turkish authorities on the summons or the broader dispute, which has been exacerbated by the German parliamentary vote and Berlin’s criticism of Ankara’s rights record.

Germany’s foreign ministry said it was the 17th time its envoy Martin Erdmann had been summoned, underlining the divisions at a time when European powers are counting on Turkey to help contain migrant flows, and to confront Islamic State militants over its borders with Iraq and Syria.

Germany has criticised mass arrests carried out in Turkey since last year’s failed coup against President Tayyip Erdogan and demanded the release of around a dozen German or Turkish-German citizens arrested in recent months.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is seeking re-election on Sunday, has called for Turkey’s EU accession talks to be called off. Germany also says it is limiting arms sales to Turkey.

Turkey says Germany has ignored Ankara’s requests for the extradition of suspects it believes are linked to the putsch and accused Berlin of using Nazi-like tactics by banning pro-Erdogan rallies on German soil.

Turkey, which says the killings of Christian Armenians during World War One do not amount to genocide, already recalled its ambassador to Germany after parliament passed the resolution last year.

Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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