Turkey's Erdogan calls German leaders 'enemies'

  • Turkey's Erdogan calls German leaders 'enemies'

Turkey's Erdogan calls German leaders 'enemies'

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at the German government on Saturday for criticising his call to ethnic Turks to vote against Germany's two ruling parties in September elections, warning the foreign minister to "know your limits".

But he said he expected voters of Turkish origin to "teach a lesson to the parties which are disrespectful to Turkey" when they cast their votes in a "struggle for honour".

"You need to support political parties there now which do not display enmity to Turkey".

"We will not stand for any kind of interference", Merkel said from a Friday campaign event in Herford in northwestern Germany.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel had criticized the Turkish president's Friday remarks saying they constituted an interference in the German general election, which is scheduled to take place on September 24. "Let's show those who want to play us against each other that we will not participate in this evil game", he said.

Erdogan was infuriated by Berlin once again in the run-up to Turkey's April referendum, after German authorities barred Turkish politicians form addressing rallies of Turkish citizens living in Germany.

Tensions have spiralled between Germany and Turkey in recent months.

Turkey and Iran have agreed on sharing intelligence and cooperating operationally in the fight against terror, Iran's Chief of Staff Gen. Mohammad Bagheri said on Thursday. A number of German nationals, including Die Welt reporter Deniz Yucel, have been detained in Turkey on terrorism charges. "No one who treats Germans in this way can seriously expect us to carry on with our political and economic relations as if everything in the garden were rosy".

Erdogan's remarks are the latest in an ongoing spat between Ankara and Berlin, which spilled over after the botched military coup which took place in Turkey in 2016. The visit was since confirmed by Gulen himself, but he denied that this indicated his own involvement in the coup, describing it as "jumping to conclusions".