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German-Turkish associations blasted for Erdogan influence
by Ben Knight
German MPs with Turkish roots have criticized Turkish associations in Germany for providing a platform for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Many are supported by the Turkish government and do not act independently.
Turkish-German relations have rarely been tenser than in the past week. The fallout over the European Union's refugee deal with Turkey, criticized by both refugee organizations and the populist right, has left Angela Merkel fending off accusations of being in thrall to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government.
That impression was compounded on June 2, when the chancellor did not appear in the Bundestag to cast a vote on the parliament's resolution to recognize the 1915-16 Armenian Genocide. The resolution has dragged an ugly trail in its wake, especially for the Bundestag's 11 representatives with Turkish roots, who have received countless hate emails and social media death threats from Turkish people. The MPs have been put under police protection as a result, and the Foreign Ministry has advised them not to travel to Turkey. Several have reportedly canceled work trips and holidays in the country.
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