BERLIN, Germany (Kurdistan24) – Amid escalating tensions between the two countries, the German foreign minister on Thursday warned his Turkish counterpart about comparisons with Nazi Germany.
Sigmar Gabriel said although he hopes to return to friendly relations with Turkey, there were “lines that should not be crossed.”
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who is seeking extended constitutional power through an April 16 referendum has been trying to target German voters of Turkish descent.
However, Germany canceled rallies involving Turkish ministers after which Erdogan accused Germany of demonstrating “Nazi practices.”
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu repeated the Nazi comparison during a visit to Hamburg to encourage some 1.4 million Turkish voters who live in Germany.
Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, also said Nazi comparisons were “unacceptable.”
“The Turkish side said it wanted to be treated equally with respect, but I believe both sides have a responsibility and there are lines that must not be crossed and any comparison with Nazi Germany is one of them,” Gabriel echoed Merkel’s statement.
Germany has insisted city councils make the decision to allow or ban rallies largely based on security reasons.
Additionally, Cavusoglu on Tuesday accused German authorities of encouraging Turkish voters in Germany to say “no” in the referendum, a plot he called anti-democratic.
Turkey has jeopardized its relations with most European countries, including Germany, after huge crackdowns on journalists, and mass arrests and purges that followed a failed coup attempt last July.
Some 100,000 civil servants and academics were also sacked.
Turkey has asked the US and Germany to deport people it suspects of being linked to the coup but the Western countries have refused due to lack of evidence.
The mass killing of Kurdish civilians in Turkey, especially the entrapment of a group in a basement in Cizre, brought international condemnation upon Turkey for mistreating its population.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany