Turkey accuses Germany of supporting 'Muslim cleric behind failed military coup'

Tens of thousands voiced their opposition to next months Turkish referendum on greater presidential powers and demanded a "NO" vote to changes in the constitution.

Turkish officials have been further angered over the weekend after Bruno Kahlmade, the German foreign intelligence chief, said Turkey "failed to convince" Germany that the organisation of Fethullah Gulen, a religious leader and businessman who is in a self-imposed exile in the USA, was directly behind last year's coup attempt.

More than 40,000 people have been killed since the PKK launched its insurgency against the Turkish state in 1984.

Turkey accuses Gulen of heading a group called the Fethullah Terror Organisation (FETO) which masterminded the coup with the aim of ousting Erdogan from power. "Because these are useful instruments for Germany to use against Turkey", he said.

He told German news magazine, Der Spiegel: "Turkey has tried to convince us of that at every level but so far it has not succeeded".

Kahl also claimed that Turkish government used the coup attempt as "a pretext" to dismiss civil servants and to imprison dissidents in the country.

"The putsch was not initiated by the state", Kahl said. "Before July 15 the government had already started a big purge so parts of the military thought they should do a coup quickly before it hit them, too".

"Turkish intelligence and other institutions can provide Germany with extensive proof if Germans are willing to talk to them", Iyimaya said.

Protesters chanted "Terrorist Erdogan" and "freedom for Ocalan", referring to Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned leader of the PKK, with many waving flags featuring Ocalan's face.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has said Erdogan is taking advantage of a sentiment many people of Turkish origin have in Germany that they are neither accepted nor welcomed.

"How can terrorist organization be allowed to gather in Germany, while government ministers of the Republic of Turkey are not allowed to meet with our citizens?" he asked at a rally in the southern Osmaniye province's Kadirli district.

Germany is home to over 3 million people of Turkish origin, with almost half of them eligible to vote in Turkey.

Iyimaya told Al Jazeera that there is a "growing double standard" against Turkey in certain European countries, such as Germany.

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