ISTANBUL – Turkey's president has harshly criticized Germany, accusing it of supporting terrorism and slamming comments suggesting Berlin may not extradite suspects wanted by Turkey if it considers the case is politically motivated.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday attacked comments by German Justice Minister Heiko Maas who said Berlin could refuse to extradite cases related to the "so-called (post-coup) cleansing that is taking place." He was referring to Turkey's clampdown on the movement led by U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, accused by Turkey of masterminding July's failed coup attempt.
Erdogan said: "we are watching Germany's stance and its subsequent policies with concern — no, with horror."
In addition to demanding extradition of those abroad, Turkey has arrested close to 37,000 people and dismissed or suspended over 100,000 personnel from government jobs in a purge to eradicate the network.