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Bitter war of words between Ankara and Berlin

14 4 23
The war of words between Ankara and Berlin is creating ever more risk, perhaps in unintended and unforeseen ways.

Turkey has been accusing Germany of disregarding Turkey’s national security concerns by harboring outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) sympathizers and Gülenists, while Berlin has criticized Ankara for taking German citizens “as hostages” – a reference to the detention of 12 German citizens in Turkey on political charges.

The verbal attacks between the countries’ respective leaders will surely leave scars. And if this tit-for-tat approach is not abandoned, diplomatic tension could inevitably spill over to damage long-term economic and cultural ties.

The stakes of a long-term crisis become more obvious when one considers that Germany is Turkey’s number-one export partner and that there are over 3 million Turks living in Germany.

Some in Turkey expect tension to dissipate after Germany’s general elections on Sept. 24, presuming that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s harsh rhetoric on Turkey is a largely tactical ploy to appeal voters, especially amid pressure from........

© Hürriyet Daily News