Turkey threatens to suspend refugee deal amid crises with EU

Germany has threatened Turkish politicians with a ban on public appearance.

Still, Gabriel warned that Turkish officials will be refused entry to the European Union if they come to campaign for their country's upcoming referendum on expanding President Recep Tayip Erdogan's powers.

"Europe is swiftly rolling back to the days before World War II", he said in a televised speech.

The intensifying diplomatic row comes after German authorities blocked a series of Turkish political rallies ahead of the country's upcoming constitutional referendum.

Erdogan, in response to the ban, accused the Netherlands of acting like "Nazi remnants" and having a "rotten" character, claiming the country was responsible for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre during the Bosnian War.

Erdogan said there was no difference between the tactics used by the police "and the gladiators in ancient Rome".

The factsheet also highlighted the EU's financial support, which amounts to 3 billion euros in 2016 and 2017 for Turkey to host Syrian refugees, stressing that the money goes directly to projects on the ground to address the needs of refugees and host communities.

Erdogan, a father of four, has previously urged women in Turkey to have at least three children to help boost the population, in comments denounced by women's rights activists.

German deputy government spokesman Georg Streiter refused to be drawn into the controversy, only saying: "We are not taking part in a game of provocation".

After the arrests of journalists and academics, and detention of tens of thousands in the wake of a failed coup last summer in Turkey, along with a suggestion of restoring the death penalty, the European Union has been very critical of human rights violations infuriating Ankara, exhausted of being kept waiting at the EU's doorstep for decades.

But Turkish ministers and Mr Erdogan have said they need to respond to popular demand for the restoration of capital punishment to deal with the ringleaders of the July 15 coup bid.

The EU says it expects Turkey to continue implementing the deal.

  • Leroy Wright