Turkish President Erdogan compares German rally ban to 'Nazi practices'

Supporters of the ruling AK Party wave Turkish flags during a campaign meeting for the April 16 constitutional referendum in Ankara Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused Germany of failig to shed "Nazi practices" after Berlin banned several rallies in the country that support widening of presidential powers in Turkey.

"Recent practices are no different from the Nazi ones of the past".

The deputy leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, Julia Kloecner, said Erdogan was "reacting like a willful child that can not have his way".

The row has further soured relations between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members amid mounting public outrage in Germany over the arrest in Turkey of a Turkish-German journalist.

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday called Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim to smooth the troubled waters, and the two countries' foreign ministers are set to meet later this week.


The latest strains in EU-Turkish relations center on Ankara's arrest of German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel and rejections on security grounds by the German towns of Guggenau, and Frechen near Cologne, of gatherings at which visiting Turkish ministers were to have made campaign appearances. The German authorities cited security concerns.

"We can't continue negotiating about membership with a country that has been distancing itself from democratic norms and rule-of-law principles for years", Kern said. "Germany, you don't have anything to do with democracy". Germany accounts for about 11 percent of Turkish imports.

Dutch nationalist Geert Wilders, expected to make huge gains in a March 15 election, said on Sunday he would declare "the whole cabinet of Turkey persona non grata". Julia Kloeckner, a deputy leader of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, told the German daily Bild that "the Nazi comparison is a new high point of intemperance.”". However, Berlin questioned the Ankara's hunt-down and purge overseas, seeing it as violations of human rights.

Since it resumed its armed campaign in July 2015, the PKK - listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the USA, and European Union - has been responsible for the deaths of approximately 1,200 security personnel and civilians, including women and children. "We should build upon that". How much longer his outbursts will be tolerated by an increasingly displeased German population, for whom Nazi comparisons may bethe stick that breaks the proverbial camel's back, remains to be seen.

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