Turkey sees Europe as a haven for suspected terrorists

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"Turkey is not a country whose ministers can be kicked out, and whose citizens can be kicked around", Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at a meeting with members of the Anatolian Publishers Association at the presidential palace in Ankara.

"If you continue this way, tomorrow no European, no Westerner anywhere in the world will be able to step onto the streets safely, with peace of mind".

He said the world was watching Europe's actions "very closely", adding: "We as Turkey urge Europe to respect democracy, human rights, freedoms".

The announcement from the Union of European Turkish Democrats highlighted the spiralling tensions between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, ahead of a referendum on constitutional changes to boost the powers of Turkey's president.

Germany has repeatedly said it prizes relations with Turkey, because it is home to three million people of Turkish origin - a legacy of the "guest worker" (Gastarbeiter) programme of the 1960s and 1970s.

On March 11, the Dutch government first canceled a flight by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and then blocked a convoy carrying Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya, forcing her to leave the country under police escort.

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European leaders expressed concern that Turkish government critics who had not done anything illegal were being targeted, and have questioned whether anti-government fugitives wanted in Turkey would get a fair trial.

"We will not organize any further events with Turkish government officials before the referendum", UETD President Zafer Sirakaya told German magazine Wirtschaftswoche. He added that "in return, we expect Turkey-bashing and Erdogan-bashing to be at least reduced".

In January, Turkey condemned a Greek court ruling that granted asylum to eight Turkish military servicemen allegedly involved in a failed coup attempt in Turkey past year.

Journalist Deniz Yucel, who has German and Turkish citizenship, was arrested last month in Turkey on charges of disseminating terrorist propaganda and inciting hatred.

Steinmeier, the former foreign minister, warned Erdogan he was threatening the progress his country had achieved in recent years and decades. He was detained after his reports about a hacker attack on the email account of the country's energy minister, who is Erdogan's son-in-law. "President Erdogan's comments about Germany and the Netherlands are not allowed".

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