Turkish PM's accusations unfair, German interior minister says
The German interior minister has denied accusations that Germany failed to provide Turkey sufficient help in its fight against terrorism. "Such accusations are totally unjustified," Hans-Peter Friedrich said yesterday in Istanbul when asked about Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s remarks on Germany regarding the deadly attack Feb. 1 on the U.S. Embassy in Ankara. "It is true that the suicide attacker came from Turkey to Germany in 2001 and applied for asylum there. This asylum application was rejected, but still he was not deported. The German public authorities began last fall to initiate executive measures against him. He also received an order of deportation and left Germany. I believe that the Turkish authorities were informed that he was in Turkey again. But it is not true that we hadn’t done everything to proceed appropriately against the man. As I said, he had received a denial of his asylum case and also [a notice of] deportation. This shows how important good cooperation between Turkey and Germany is in the fight against violence and terrorism," Friedrich said following a visit to Fener Greek Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul. Erdoğan confirmed that Ecevit Sanli, the attacker, had been living in Germany prior to the suicide bombing he carried out in front of the embassy, killing one and injuring another, while speaking in the Czech capital on Feb 4. The prime minister also mentioned that the assailant in the case of the murder of three Kurdish women Jan. 9 in Paris crossed from Germany to Paris. Erdogan accused German and other European states of not providing the necessary support in the fight against terrorism. "Even when we alert the authorities on suspects and provide evidence of their terrorist acts, we don’t receive attention. They tell us that they are following those suspects," he said. Authorities in the European Union should instead hand the suspects over to Turkey, Erdogan said. "We need to have a common struggle against terror. The EU needs to distance itself from terrorist organizations," Erdogan told members of the press. On Feb. 2, the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) claimed responsibility for the attack targeting the U.S. Embassy in Ankara. The radical leftist group justified the attack as retaliation for American policy in Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Libya in a statement published on its website. While in Istanbul Friedrich paid a visit to historic Rustem Pasa Mosque in Eminonu and he is set to hold meetings today with Deputy Prime Ministers Bekir Bozdağ and Besir Atalay and Interior Minister Muammer Guler.