A Turkish Minister has denounced Germany’s “pressure on the Turks,” following days of tension and disagreement between Berlin and Ankara.
Angela Merkel and her government have been pushing in recent days for the freeing of a Turkish-German journalist, jailed by the Turkish government. Deniz Yücel was imprisoned last week as part of Erdogan’s crackdown on the media following the failed July coup. Since then, relations between the two countries have deteriorated, with Germany’s condemnation followed by a rebuttal from Erdogan.
The German government then cancelled several appearances by Turkish ministers in Germany, where they would have campaigned for a “Yes” vote in the upcoming Turkish referendum, citing security concerns. Erdogan blasted this response, stating Germany had no business interfering in Turkish democracy, and drawing parallels between the modern German government and that of Nazi Germany’s.
That comparison was met with unequivocal disagreement from German politicians, as well as with other European countries, with Austria calling for a ban of all Turkish politician appearances in the EU and the front-runner in the Netherlands’ election, Geert Wilders, stating he would ban the Turkish cabinet from entry should he win.
Merkel’s government is blocked from taking more direct action by an agreement signed by Turkey, which if broken, would allow hundreds of thousands more migrants to enter the country.
(Image: Tobias Schwartz / Reuters)