Germany says it has not received official expulsion order from Turkey

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Newspapers folded and stacked on the table. Selective focus.

BERLIN – Germany has not received any official expulsion order for its ambassador in Turkey but acknowledged Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s statements with concern, ministry and government spokespeople said in Berlin on Monday.

“Of course we have seen press coverage of President Erdogan’s statements. However, we did not receive any official notification about expulsions or anything similar over the weekend,” a German foreign ministry spokesperson told a news conference.

The spokesperson added that such an expulsion would be in contradiction to the depth and importance of the bilateral ties between Germany and Turkey, and that Germany has been in touch with partners in Paris and Washington over the weekend.

Erdogan said he had ordered the envoys of 10 Western allies be declared ‘persona non grata’ for seeking philanthropist Osman Kavala’s release from prison.

The foreign ministry has not yet carried out the president’s instruction, which would open the deepest rift with the West in Erdogan’s 19 years in power.

German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Berlin noted Erdogan’s statements with “concern and incomprehension.”

“But as I said, there is no formal communication from the Turkish side yet. We have to wait and see,” Seibert added.

(Reporting by Zuzanna Szymanska; Editing by Miranda Murray)