ANGELA Merkel has said her demand for Turkey to cease drawing Nazi comparisons with Germany and its allies applies “without ifs or buts”.
The German Chancellor’s comments came after Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused her personally of “committing Nazi practices”.
It was the latest in a string of comments by Turkish officials drawing Nazi parallels with present-day Germany and the Netherlands in a dispute over restrictions on Turkish ministers campaigning there for an upcoming referendum.
Loading article content
Merkel said: "My comment that the Nazi comparisons on Turkey’s part must end is valid without ifs or buts.
“Unfortunately, we see that these comparisons have not ceased, and we are not going to allow ... every taboo to be broken with no regard to the suffering of those who were persecuted and murdered under Nazism.”
Merkel referred to a foreign ministry note sent to Turkey last week allowing Turkish referendum polling stations in Germany, in which Ankara was told that appearances by Turkish politicians must respect the principles of the German constitution, and that Berlin otherwise reserves the right to “take all necessary measures”.
Her pointed but guarded response was in line with German officials’ statements over the past week that she has “no intention of participating in the race of provocations”.
Peter Tauber, the general secretary of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party, said of the latest attack: “This is real effrontery toward our Chancellor”.
However, he added that “we can allow ourselves to be outraged, stamp our feet and perhaps fight back - but the Chancellor has to safeguard our country’s interests”.
The President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, wrote on Twitter: “An unacceptable attack by @RT_Erdogan on a democratic country that guarantees all fundamental rights.”