World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Germany on Thursday to attend a summit of the world's major economies, also known as the G20 group.
Erdogan is scheduled to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel tonight ahead of the summit starting on Friday.
The meeting comes amid escalating tensions between the two countries, as Ankara has lashed out at Berlin for turning a blind eye to terrorist groups using German soil for their propaganda, recruitment, and funding activities.
On Wednesday, in an interview with German weekly Die Zeit, Erdogan said German authorities were tolerating the activities of the terrorist group PKK, although the group is also outlawed in the country.
He also criticised Germany for not taking measures against the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), which is believed to have organized the foiled coup attempt in Turkey last year that took 250 lives and injured some 2,200 others.
He renewed Ankara’s demand that Berlin return PKK and FETO suspects for trial in Turkey, and warned that as long as this does not happen, "Turkey will look at Germany as a country that is protecting terrorists."
Ties between Turkey and Germany further deteriorated this week after German authorities blocked Erdogan from addressing Turkish immigrants in Germany on the sidelines of the summit.
Representatives of Germany's 3-million-strong Turkish community were planning to host Erdogan at a public event on the sidelines of the July 7-8 summit.
Amid growing pressure by German opposition parties fiercely opposed to Erdogan’s address, however, Merkel's government ruled out such a meeting ahead of September's general elections.
Erdogan harshly criticized the decision, saying, "Germany is committing suicide, this is political suicide.”
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