President Recep Erdogan’s government has asked the Germany to extradite 81 of its citizens for suspected involvement in a failed military coup in 2016, the Justice Ministry said in response to a question from the Left Party.
Turkey has accused Germany of harbouring supporters of Fethullah Gulen, an exiled preacher and former ally of the president whose movement is accused of orchestrating the coup.
The answer to the Left Party’s question, seen by dpa on Monday, does not reveal how many extradition requests Ankara submitted for people it accuses of terrorism-related activities.
In November 2016, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Turkey was seeking the extradition of “more than 4,000” supporters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
“Regardless of the measures the Turkish side uses to exert pressure, the federal government must not extradite,” said Left Party lawmaker Alexander Neu.
“Instead, it must exert pressure itself in order to finally free German hostages from custody.”
Turkey is currently holding a handful of German citizens, including journalists and human rights activists, on terrorism-related charges, causing strained diplomatic relations to reach an unprecedented low.
Turkey’s relationship with Germany was severely strained after it refused to allow Turkish politicians to hold campaign rallies in February.
Erdogan repeatedly threw Nazi slurs against Angela Merkel and accused the country of Nazi practices.
Berlin’s decision to grant asylum to some of 414 army officers and government workers only added fuel to Turkey’s escalating animosity toward the country.