20:09 GMT +324 June 2018
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    Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim. (File)

    Berlin Must Choose Ankara Over Gulen Supporters - Prime Minister

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    Germany must side with the Turkish Republic over plotters of the last year's coup if it wants to improve Turkish-German relations, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Tuesday, in the light of Berlin granting political asylum to Turkish military officials with suspected links to coup participants.

    ANKARA (Sputnik) — On May 9, German authorities granted political asylum to a number of Turkish military personnel and their families. Last month, German media reported, citing the data of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), that about 262 asylum applications made by the Turkish military and diplomatic passport holders.

    "Relations between Germany and Turkey worsened ahead of the referendum, but after that, we have started to receive positive messages. However, the decision of German authorities to provide political asylum to those, who are accused of organizing coup attempt on July 15, has become a major step back. Germany has to decide. If it wants to develop our relations, it has to turn its face to the Turkish Republic, not to rebels, Fethullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) members," Yildirim said during the meeting of ruling Justice and Development Party.

    A military coup attempt took place in Turkey in July 2016. While it was suppressed by government forces, over 240 people were killed and an estimated 2,000 were wounded during the incident. Ankara has accused Fethullah Gulen, who has lived in the US state of Pennsylvania since 1999, and his followers of playing a key role in the coup. Gulen has denied the accusations and condemned the attempted coup.

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    bilateral ties, Binali Yildirim, Turkey, Germany
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