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Turkey Summons German Ambassador Over Kurdish Rally in Cologne

The Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned German ambassador to Ankara Martin Erdmann on Saturday to protest a rally held by German Kurds in the city of Cologne, according to an official release from the ministry.

Some 3,000 Kurds participated in the rally calling for the release of the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Abdullah Ocalan.

Turkish authorities condemned the event, since Ankara considers the PKK a terrorist organization.

“The double standard approach Germany has been following with regards to the global fight against terrorism is worrying. We call on Germany to show a principled stance against all kinds of terror,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.

Germany has been criticizing Ankara over the mass arrests in the aftermath of the failed 2016 coup, and demanded the release of German citizens imprisoned in Turkey.

On Saturday, Chancellor Angela Merkel signaled intent to reduce trade with Turkey to pressure Ankara to free German nationals.

“We will have to further cut back our joint economic cooperation with Turkey and scrutinize projects,” Ms. Merkel said in an interview with German media.

The announcement came after the chancellor opened the prospect of ending EU membership negotiations with Turkey.

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