Erdogan Denies Reports of Blacklisting German Firms for Supporting Terrorism
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday denied recent media reports about Turkey blacklisting German companies for supporting terrorism and condemned a statement by German Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries on the issue as aimed at "scaring investors" from Turkey.
On Wednesday, the Zeit newspaper reported that 68 German companies and individuals, including Daimler and BASF, are on the Turkish blacklist for allegedly supporting terrorism.
Following the reports, Zypries said Berlin would protect German firms working in Turkey from "completely unjustified and incomprehensible accusations."
"I strongly condemn statements by the German economy minister which aim to scare companies that invest in our economy.
The information about alleged Turkey's investigation against German companies are lies.
We are implementing the best projects with German companies.
I invite you to prove that we have the "black list" of foreign companies," Erdogan said during his address to foreign investors in Istanbul.
Namely, the companies are suspected of backing German Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, who stands accused by Ankara of staging the failed coup in 2016.
Turkey has reportedly given the list to Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek on Thursday denied the reports, adding that "Turkey welcomes German investors."
Since July, Turkey has arrested hundreds of military personnel, activists and journalists on suspicion of links with Gulen.
Relations between Turkey and a number of European countries, including Germany, have worsened recently after several pro-referendum rallies held by Turkish officials, aimed at gaining support from Turkish citizens living abroad, were canceled in Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland.
Following such bans, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan compared German, and later, Dutch authorities to Nazis.