Turkey accuses Germany of 'cultural racism' over EU accession remarks

August 31, 2016 4:28 AM EDT

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ISTANBUL (Reuters) - A Turkish minister said on Wednesday that comments by Germany's European commissioner in which he said Turkey would probably not join the EU while Tayyip Erdogan was president showed "cultural racism", the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Turkish European Union Affairs Minister Omer Celik was responding to Tuesday's remarks by Guenther Oettinger. Celik spoke in an interview with Anadolu.

Ties between Turkey and the EU have become more strained since a failed coup last month that led Turkey to purge state institutions of suspected coup sympathizers. EU states have urged restraint, drawing criticism from Turkey who said they failed to appreciate the threat posed by those behind the plot.

(Reporting by Asli Kandemir; Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Nick Tattersall)

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