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Restrictions on human rights

Keeping open lines of communication with Turkey

The German government is committed to the fight against terrorism, declared Federal Chancellor in the Bundestag. She was open in her criticism of the latest restrictions on human rights in Turkey, while reiterating that she wished to keep the channels of communication open.

Two people stand in front of an enormous Turkish flag. It is in Germany's interests to cooperate with Turkey in a reasonable way, says Angela Merkel Photo: picture-alliance/dpa

Chancellor Angela Merkel once again condemned the attempted coup in Turkey on 15 and 16 July. In her speech during the budget debate in the German Bundestag she stressed, "The German government, like every European government, is committed to the fight against terrorism."

Broach alarming developments frankly

Germany has seen more than 4,000 legal cases against members of the underground Kurdish organisation PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party). The political level, however, must respect rule-of-law verdicts. Investigation of acts of terrorism cannot be taken as a justification "for restricting the freedom of the press and arresting thousands and thousands of people".

While expressing her clear criticism of this procedure, Angela Merkel also made it clear that it is important to remain in dialogue with Turkey. In this context she welcomed the recent visit of the Federal Foreign Minister to Ankara, although it was "anything but easy". It is in the interest of the German government "to cooperate with Turkey in a reasonable way". This does not, however, preclude clearly and frankly addressing alarming developments in Turkey, she added.

Nov 23, 2016