Istanbul, 3 February 2017
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned German Chancellor Angela Merkel for using the expression "Islamist terrorism", saying the phrase was not correct and saddened Muslims.
Speaking after a critical bilateral meeting with Erdogan, Merkel spoke of the need for Turkey and Germany to cooperate even further to fight against terror, including "Islamist terrorism" and Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants.
"We spoke in detail about... the questions of the fight against Islamist terrorism, against every form of terrorism, also the terrorism of the PKK," she said alongside Erdogan at his palace in Ankara.
"We agree we want to cooperate, we are all affected by this. We agreed to have closer cooperation in the future," she said.
Erdogan, sitting next to Merkel, was stony-faced as she spoke.
"This expression 'Islamist terror' seriously saddens us Muslims," Erdogan replied, glancing sternly at the German chancellor.
"Such an expression is not correct because Islam and terror cannot be associated. The meaning of Islam is peace."
He said it would be "saddening" if the term was used because of the crimes of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) extremist group, which has been blamed for a string of attacks in Turkey over the last year.
"Please let's not use it. As long as it is used we need to stand against it. As a Muslim president personally I cannot accept that," he said.
His response delighted the pro-government press, with the Yeni Safak daily headlining on its website: "President Erdogan's warning to Merkel".