Erdogan warns Europeans' security at risk as EU feud rages

Europeans across the world will not be able to walk the streets safely across the world if they keep up their current attitude towards Turkey, president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned.

Erdogan, meanwhile, said his government would be "having a talk" with Europe after the April 16 referendum on presidential powers.

German media have been claiming for some time that the Turkish President is planning on visiting Germany by the end of March for a meeting with Turkish voters.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey has repeatedly accused Germany of using Nazi tactics to ban ministerial appearances and has caused anger in Germany by holding German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel.

In an interview with Der Spiegel published on Saturday, Bruno Kahl said Ankara had repeatedly tried to convince Berlin that Gulen was behind the coup "but they have not succeeded".

Ankara has been embroiled in a row with Berlin and other European capitals over campaigning among the Turkish diaspora for a referendum on granting Erdogan greater powers. Press defenders say that Turkey is holding 149 journalists in jail and European Union leaders have repeatedly expressed alarm over freedom of expression in the country.

Germany and the Netherlands cited security concerns for their decision, but Erdogan has accused them of using "Nazi methods" and of trampling on free speech.

"Credible signals to ease tensions are welcome", said Steinmeier.

"We belong together. We are one people", he said at an event in Berlin.

Erdogan has also criticized Germany for allowing a rally this past weekend of thousands of ethnic Kurds, some of whom expressed support for a jailed rebel leader in Turkey.

Raising the issue at the start of a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, she stressed that "appearances by Turkish politicians here can only take place on the basis of the principles of German constitutional law".

Erdogan again condemned German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who he previously claimed is "supporting terrorists", after she urged the Turkish-German journalist be freed and gave her support to the Dutch during the height of the crisis over rallies.

Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said Turkey's Nazi comparisons demeaned the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust and distracted from the real threat of growing anti-Semitism and right-wing populism.

  • Leroy Wright