Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan accuses Germany of 'behaving like Nazis'

An editorial today in Der Spiegel suggested that the refugee crisis "prevents honest dealings with Turkey".

The bans, actual and proposed, have unsurprisingly infuriated Ankara, with President Erdogan accusing Germany of employing Nazi tactics.

Germany's government condemned Mr Erdogan's Nazi remarks as "absolutely unacceptable".

Erdogan lashed out at Germany over the weekend after rallies in the city of Cologne and the town of Gaggenau in support of his government were canceled due to concerns about overcrowding.

The diplomatic tensions have been rising in recent days amid Turkish plans to have government ministers to address rallies in Germany and the Netherlands in support of an upcoming constitutional referendum that would give Erdogan new powers.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized the German leadership on banning the Turkish ministers to hold a campaign in the country ahead of the constitutional referendum, Reuters reports. At a business forum in Berlin on Monday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, "One can not even comment on such utterances, they are not justifiable ..."

Germany is home to almost 1.5 million Turks eligible to vote in Turkey's upcoming referendum, according to Turkish media. 'We can't continue to negotiate about membership with a country that has been steadily distancing itself for years, during ongoing access talks, from democratic standards and principles of the rule of law'.

The arrest in Turkey of a Turkish-German journalist has fuelled public outrage over the rallies, at which Turkish ministers were to urge a "Yes" vote in the April 16 referendum.

"You will lecture us about democracy and then you will not let this country's ministers speak there", said an angry Erdogan, adding that Germany was not "respecting opinion and thought".

"Germany can not be outmatched regarding the rule of law, tolerance and liberalism", Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff told German public Television ARD.

Kern urged "a concerted approach by the European Union to prevent such campaign appearances", saying then specific countries like Germany would not come under pressure from Turkey.

Against this background, Turkey is targeting the millions of expatriate voters eligible to cast a ballot in the controversial poll - including the 1.4m in Germany.

"Mr Erdogan reacts like a defiant child who can not get something through to his head", she said, adding that the Turkish president should apologise.

German-Turkish relationships have been tense since last summer's aborted coup in Turkey and Mr. Erdogan's ensuing crackdown on opposition and media. Chancellor Angela Merkel is yet to respond at all - and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said the dispute "should not wreck the foundations of the friendship between our countries".

  • Leroy Wright