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Mehmet Simsek, Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey attends the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 19, 2017. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

(reuters_tickers)

ANKARA (Reuters) - Press reports that Turkey is investigating Germany's Daimler and chemicals giant BASF are "completely false", Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said on Twitter on Thursday, adding that Ankara welcomed German investors.

On Wednesday Germany's Die Zeit newspaper reported that Turkish authorities had several weeks ago handed Berlin a list of 68 German companies, including Daimler and BASF, they accused of having links to U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, blamed by Ankara for orchestrating last July's failed coup.

"Press reports that Turkey is investigating Daimler AG and BASF SE are completely false. We welcome German investors," he said.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Thursday he did not see how Germany could guarantee German corporate investment in Turkey under the current circumstances, in an escalating row between the two NATO allies.

(Reporting by Orhan Coskun; Writing by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by David Dolan)

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Reuters