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Erdogan launches scathing attack against Merkel

Updated Mar 20, 2017 08:41am

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a meeting.— Reuters
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a meeting.— Reuters

ISTANBUL: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday launched a scathing personal attack against German Chancellor Angela Merkel, accusing her of using “Nazi measures” in an intensifying dispute between Ankara and Berlin.

Tensions flared after German authorities refused to allow some Turkish ministers to campaign for a ‘yes’ vote in the April 16 referendum on expanding Erdogan’s powers, and he responded by saying Berlin was behaving like Nazi Germany.

“When we call them Nazis they (Europe) get uncomfortable. They rally together in solidarity. Especially Merkel,” Erdogan said in a televised speech.

“But you are right now employing Nazi measures,” Erdogan told Merkel using the informal ‘you’ in Turkish.

“Against who? My Turkish brother citizens in Germany and brother ministers” who went to the country to hold campaign rallies for a ‘yes’ vote in next month’s referendum.

Authorities in Germany have blocked some Turkish ministers from holding rallies, infuriating Ankara.

Erdogan said the crisis in relations with Europe over the last days “showed that a new page had been opened in the ongoing fight against our country”.

Accusing Europe of backing outlawed terror groups, he warned: “The masked ball is over!” without specifying further.

Turkey had earlier expressed fury that German authorities had on Saturday allowed a pro-Kurdish demonstration in Frankfurt to go ahead where many participants carried insignia of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Germany meanwhile is livid over the jailing ahead of a trial on terror charges of dual Turkish-German national Deniz Yucel, the Turkey correspondent of the German newspaper Die Welt.

Erdogan described Yucel, whose arrest has caused global concern, as a “terror agent” and “supposed journalist” and accused Germany of hosting him for one month at its Istanbul consulate before he went to police for questioning.

Published in Dawn, March 20th, 2017

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Comments (35) Closed



I'm Concerned_ Mar 20, 2017 08:43am

Another dictator in the making? Turkey was such a fantastic country_ a beacon of civilized Muslim majority country with freedom of expression_ until this guy showed up.

KJ Mar 20, 2017 08:55am

This guy has a problem with everyone, as it seems - a while back with Russia, then Netherlands, and now with Germany.

resham Mar 20, 2017 08:53am

And how he is spoiling his own chances! Would he get green signals to his ministers by his tirade against Merkel? I dont think so. Turkey is not a rich country, depends much on tourism,has no oil resources.

Arif Mar 20, 2017 09:01am

What's wrong with Erdogan? Why does he want to take Turkey backwards?

AhMAd Mar 20, 2017 09:15am

Why this guy is making life difficult for Turkish living in Germany, Netherland and other countries? Which country allows rallies for other country's politics matters?

JA-Australia Mar 20, 2017 09:38am

We Pakistanis stand with Turkey. Always.

PAATCHU Mar 20, 2017 09:39am

Why he and his ministers wanted to go other countries to have demonstrations for a TUrkish election ?? It's like Mr.Modi goes to Pakistan to have an INDIAN election rally... Erdogan is making Silly arguments..ridiculous guy indeed!!

Mirza Mar 20, 2017 09:40am

Campaign in your country why you want to go abroad. You are a dictator of your country don't try to impose yourself on the world.

SUV Mar 20, 2017 10:10am

This man will destroy turkey as he is very insecure

Reader Mar 20, 2017 10:13am

Pride comes before a fall/ or Humility is the better part of valor. Stay within your limits Mr. Erdogan, "brotherly" advice from a "brotherly" country.

Fakem All Mar 20, 2017 10:14am

@JA-Australia : Australia, Canada, US, UK all stand with Turkey..

Reader Mar 20, 2017 10:19am

@Fakem All . I don't think so.!!!.

bkt Mar 20, 2017 10:31am

It seems that neither Dutch, nor German ministers will be allowed to campaign among the German tourists who come to Turkey for the summer sun. Of course this is the first time I have heard of ministers campaigning for votes outside their own country. I am sure our Ministers would love the idea of campaigning in Europe and North America on behalf of any government.

gulshan banoo Mar 20, 2017 10:51am

@Mirza We do stand with Turkey & the Turkish people but not with dictatorship.

Explorer Mar 20, 2017 10:54am

Turkey was my hope for muslim world as an example for their democracy, freedom of religion and forward looking. Unfortunately this image has been shattered by Mr. Erdogan. He is a dictator who is taking Turkey backwards in the name of religion. There are millions of Turks living in Europe mainly peacefully but he is destroying this harmony by bringing his political agenda to foreign countries. Are political rallies allowed by foreign leaders in Turkey? I hope that Turks see through his agenda and vote against this dictator and bring back Turkey to its former glory which it certainly deserve.

rich Mar 20, 2017 10:58am

merkel should take more refugees from muslim land, and turks

she should know whatever she does she will not be appreciated

Ayaz 4610 @yahoo. Com Mar 20, 2017 10:54am

All people negating turkeys perspective is that they give importance to every Turkish citizen domestic or abroad since they alow duel citizenship please have some knowledge before criticism this not pml (n) or mom election of fears and intimidation they are all out side turkey and they can accept it or reject it.

Torus Makto Mar 20, 2017 10:58am

Champions of democracy, free world and free speech, Germany, acting worse than a dictatorship. And then they have the nerve to point fingers at others.

majid Mar 20, 2017 11:05am

Merkel has been most accommodating and flexible as far as Muslim refugees are concerned, but this nut job is getting personal with her,, ,I assert he will ruin Turkey

Azad kashmir Mar 20, 2017 11:01am

Long live Turkish Republic!

Nadeem Mar 20, 2017 11:19am

@I Turkey is much better under his command; he has lifted his nation from ashes. People of Turkey love him & that is real power which rests with him. The west must end supporting banned outfits as they have been asking from Pakistan. Is not this dual standard?

malik humayoun Mar 20, 2017 11:31am

Good working our Honorable Leader President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

malik humayoun Mar 20, 2017 11:44am

well done our Leader Mr.President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the real Leader of The Muslim world

Mahmood Mar 20, 2017 12:08pm

I expect Germans to react strongly to put Erdogan back in his place. This is not going to help Turkey or millions of Turks living in Germany and rest of Europe.

After the diplomatic spat with the Dutch, you would think Turkey will launch a charm offensive to rebuild relations with the EU members - especially if it is seeking visa-free entry for Turks traveling in Europe. But Erodgan is doing exactly the opposite. The end results are going to be backlash against Turkey. Baffling state of mind.

Mahmood Mar 20, 2017 12:13pm

No big loss. He wasn't delivering much as evidenced by the continues tensions between Afghan and Pakistani government and skirmishes and repeated closure of Pakistani border with Afghanistan.

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. No intermediary required.

timetostopthis Mar 20, 2017 12:14pm

Why do all your best friends always have problems with the rest of the civilised world? first it was China. Now Turkey.

opinion Mar 20, 2017 12:31pm

He has nothing else to do....

Kashif Mar 20, 2017 12:36pm

Correction: We Pakistanis will always stand with the Turkish people. Not necessarily their leaders.

abe Mar 20, 2017 12:42pm

Merkel is the best European ally that Turkey can hope for. Rest of Europe does not pay much attention to Erdogan or what goes on in Turkey, much less react to Erdogan's rants.

If Turkey hopes for ascension to the EU membership and visa-free entry for Turks into Europe, he needs to adopt diplomatic tone and be charming towards Merkel - who is now considered more powerful in the World, than Trump, and right behind Putin.

Merkel is the only Eurpean leader who has closer relations with Turkey, and relaxed rules for more than a million Turks living and working in Germany. With her support, Turkey could one day become member of the EU. These raving insults and scathing remarks are not going to help Erdogan in that quest.

With German elections due next year. Merkel could easily adopt a more tougher stance towards Turkey to appease some Germans who are not pleased with Erdogan's meddling and rants. That would be very unfortunate for Turkey.

Anwar Ali Mar 20, 2017 02:28pm

Europe at the time of becoming modern and developed continent did not succumb to the pressure of orthodox Turks in their heart land under ottoman rule. It is unlike that they will tolerate such hegemonic acts of Erdogan now.

Ahmed Hanif Mar 20, 2017 05:50pm

Trump, Erdagon and Israeli PM are against change in Europe's independent policies

Fazal Karim Mar 21, 2017 01:17am

In presence of electric media, is it necessary for leaders who support yes vote to go personalty other countries? Erdogan will be furios if the opposition is allowed to carry out rallies in Germany and other states by German government. I think Erdogan will not get yes vote, if he gets it will be bad for democracy in Turkey.

JOE FL Mar 21, 2017 05:31am

Erdogan twists the truth along with the logic. In Western democracies, including Germany, any citizen can stand on a street corner, wave a sign and make a speech, so long as it doesn't espouse hatred or violence. It happens routinely with citizens.

But no country allows another country's official government ministers to do that. Otherwise 'foreign policy' would become a farce, ruled by street scenes rather than by negotiation.

Meanwhile, while Erdogan makes speeches, Turkey puts journalists in jail for doing their job.

Alba Mar 21, 2017 06:01am

The two biggest egos belonging to world leaders are Trump's and Erdogan's. Trump refused to shake her hand. Erdogan went Trump one better. Merkel didn't stand a chance.

Alba Mar 21, 2017 06:08am

He has gone off the deep end mentally after the Army coup. He is making trouble because total power and control is all that will make him feel safe. He needs those dual nationals in Europe to hand him their votes. The world can be a dangerous place. When it comes down to Nazis - people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw rocks.