Friday Jun 21, 201303:57 PM GMT
Turkey summons German envoy over Angela Merkel's comments
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a press conference  in Ankara. (file photo)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a press conference in Ankara. (file photo)
Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:48PM
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Turkey has summoned German ambassador over Chancellor Angela Merkel's criticism of Turkish police's heavy-handed response to anti-government protests and her opposition to Turkey’s bid to join the European Union.


The German envoy, Eberhard Pohl, was summoned on Friday in what is seen as a tit-for-tat.

This followed Germany's summoning of the Turkish ambassador after Turkey's EU Minister Egemen Bagis accused Merkel of using unrest in Turkey for domestic political gains ahead of the September elections.

Bagis said on Thursday, “I hope she corrects the mistake she has made by Monday... or this will lead to reactions.”

“She should consider the sensitivities of more than three million Turks living in Germany,” he added.

Merkel, who is an opponent of Turkey’s EU accession, has condemned Turkish police crackdown as too strong.

Earlier this week, Merkel said she was “shocked” by Ankara's crackdown on anti-government protests.

On Thursday, an unnamed EU diplomat said that Berlin blocked moves to open a new chapter in Ankara's EU membership talks next week at a meeting of EU ambassadors in Brussels.

All 27 EU members must agree whether to move forward on membership talks.

Turkey began EU accession negotiations back in 2005. It has not much progress largely because of French and German resistance and Turkey's tensions with Cyprus.

The unrest in Turkey erupted after police broke up a sit-in staged at Taksim Square on May 31 to protest against a government plan for the redevelopment of Gezi Park.

Five people, including a police officer, have reportedly died in the clashes and more than 5,000 protesters and 600 police officers have been wounded.

MAM/KA
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