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Turkey's foreign minister wades into court trial spat

Turkey's foreign minister wades into court trial spat
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Turkey’s foreign minister has called his counterpart in Germany, after a spat erupted over media access to a trial of suspected neo-Nazis – who were allegedly involved in a racist killing spree.

A court in Munich has been accused of gross insensitivity after failing to guarantee places for Turkish journalists in the courtroom.

The case relates to the deaths of a policewoman, eight Turkish street vendors and a Greek stall holder.

“It’s strange enough that the New York Times is not admitted to the courtroom, but if the Turkish press and Turkish coverage is hindered, this is totally incomprehensible and unacceptable,” said Celal Özkan, a journalist with the Turkish Hurriyet newspaper.

The court decision comes after an inquiry revealed botched investigations and a failure to consider racist motives for the killings between 2000 and 2007.

It also highlighted a lack of communication between Germany’s intelligence services and a failure to properly monitor members of neo-Nazi groups.

Media attention is likely to focus on Beate Zschaepe during the trial, which is expected to get underway on 17 April. She is accused of being a founding member of the neo-Nazi cell blamed for the deaths.