ANKARA, July 21 (Reuters) - Turkey’s economy minister said German investments in Turkey were fully guaranteed by both the Turkish government and its laws, and denied reports Ankara gave Berlin a list of companies it was targeting for suspected links to last year’s coup attempt.
In an interview with Reuters, Nihat Zeybekci sought to calm the rising tension between the two NATO allies, saying the crisis with Germany was temporary and both sides must refrain from talk that would cause lasting economic damage.
“The allegation that Turkish authorities gave Germany the names of German companies linked to Gulen is not true. This is fake news,” Zeybekci said in the interview in Ankara late on Thursday.
“The Turkey-Germany crisis is temporary. One must refrain from words that would cause lasting harming to the economies. Germany must reassess comments that are inappropriate.”
Germany on Thursday told its citizens to exercise caution if travelling to Turkey and threatened measures that could hinder German investment there, as its impatience grew with Ankara after the detention of rights activists.
The Die Zeit newspaper reported this week that Turkish authorities had several weeks ago handed Berlin a list of 68 German companies, including Daimler and BASF that they accused of having links to U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, blamed by Ankara for orchestrating last July’s failed coup. (Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by David Dolan)