Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus on Monday has deemed "unacceptable" the remarks by the head of the German Federal Intelligence Service over the role of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) in the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey.
In an interview with the Der Spiegel weekly published Saturday, Federal Intelligence Service (BND) chief Bruno Kahl said about FETO's role in the coup: "Turkey has tried on different levels to convince us of that, but they have not succeeded."
Speaking to reporters in the capital Ankara, Kurtulmus said: "I would like to say that we have difficulty to understand why on earth he said those remarks.
"That means taking hostility with Turkey one more step further, and backing FETO totally."
Led by U.S.-based Fetullah Gulen, FETO is accused of orchestrating the July 15 coup plot -- which left 249 people martyred and 2,193 injured -- as well as being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and the judiciary.
Turkey has submitted evidence of the FETO coup plot to governments worldwide, including Germany and the U.S., and urged them to eliminate FETO institutions in their own countries as well as extradite suspected members.
"Was it [the death toll] supposed to be 250,000, not 250, in order to prove that FETO was behind it?" asked Kurtulmus.
Germany lists PKK as terror organization
On Sunday, Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik and presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin also rebuffed Kahl’s remarks.
"If the German intelligence chief says, ‘We are not convinced that FETO is behind the coup attempt,’ then he must be either blind, deaf, or he needs to hide the plotters as they failed in what they wished to happen," Isik said.
Kalin also said Kahl’s remarks were "quite noteworthy in proving who is supporting FETO".
The controversy over FETO follows another over a PKK rally in Frankfurt.
Around 9,000 people marched Saturday in the central German city of Frankfurt with PKK posters and flags, openly defying the federal government's prohibition of terrorist symbols in public places, including PKK symbols.
Turkish officials accused Germany of supporting terrorism by allowing the terrorist PKK to hold marches while blocking Turkish government ministers from holding public rallies ahead of Turkey’s April 16 constitutional referendum.
"The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization both by the EU and by Germany," Kurtulmus said. "Once more, I want to say that we do not understand and approve of this stance."
Reporting by A. Eda Unlu Ozen; Writing by Ayse Humeyra Atilgan