Erdogan tells Turks in Germany to vote against Merkel

Erdogan tells Turks in Germany to vote against Merkel

Erdogan tells Turks in Germany to vote against Merkel

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said Friday that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats were enemies of Turkey and urged Turkish counterparts in Germany to vote against major parties in next month’s elections.

Erdogan’s comments are some harshest against Merkel and his Christian Democrats, which illustrates the widening gap between NATO allies and major trading partners.

Relations between Ankara and Berlin were strained after last year’s coup, while the Turkish authorities had dismissed or suspended 150 000 people and detained more than 50 000 people, including German nationals.

Germany expressed concern that Erdogan was using the coup as a pretext to cancel the dissent. Erdogan, an authoritarian leader whose roots are in political Islam, has accused Germany of anti-Turkish and anti-Muslim sentiment.

“I ask all my compatriots in Germany. Christian Democrats, SDP, the Green Party is All enemies of Turkey support political parties who are not enemies of Turkey,” said he was in Comments after Friday prayers in Istanbul.

“I urge you not to vote for the parties involved in such aggressive and disrespectful attitudes towards Turkey, and I invite you to teach these political parties a lesson to the polls,” he said.

Germany has a large Turkish diaspora and contains a wide range of views on Turkish politics.

The Germans go to the polls on September 24 for the election in which Merkel runs for a fourth term. Its conservatives enjoy a comfortable advantage over the Social Democrats (SPD), its current coalition partner and its main rival.

Therefore, it is unlikely that Erdogan’s comments will influence the outcome of the election.

Western governments, particularly Germany, expressed their apprehension in the Erdogan PTO. In April, the Turks have strongly supported a referendum to change the constitution and grant Erdogan executive powers.

On the eve of the popular consultation, the German authorities have prevented Turkish politicians from speaking to Turkish citizens’ meetings in Germany, infuriating Ankara.

Turkey also prevented lawmakers from Berlin from visiting their troops stationed in southern Turkey. The troops were transferred to Jordan.

Merkel also said there would be no expansion of a customs union or deepening relations between the EU and Turkey, comments that have bothered in Turkey.

Erdogan said on Friday that Merkel’s statements about the customs union show that Germany has become a country that violates the European Union’s acquis or a set of laws.

(Additional inform Tuvan Gümrükçü and Ece Toksabay, written by David Dolan, Edited by Dominic Evans and Matthew Bigg Mpoke)

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