Thursday, 19 July 2018 12:02 GMT

Turkey accuses German minister of 'copying' racists

(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Turkish EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik has accused German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel of copying the 'far-right and racists in his statements on a festering diplomatic crisis with Turkey.
His broadside gave no chance for any let-up in the acrimony between Ankara and Berlin as both North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) allies exchange accusations and warnings.
'Gabriel is not making original statements. He speaks by ‘copying' from the far-right and racists, Celik wrote on Twitter in a tirade of 29 tweets criticising Gabriel and his Austrian counterpart Sebastian Kurz.
'It can be seen that the German foreign minister has reached the same level as the refugee enemy and symbol of racist politics: the Austrian foreign minister, Celik said in another tweet.
Austria, like Germany, has also been locked in a bitter spat with Turkey partly in response to combative criticism by Kurz, who has called for Turkey's EU accession talks to be suspended.
Celik said attacks by 'racists, fascists and enemies of Islam against Turkey or President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meant 'nothing to the Turkish authorities.
He accused Gabriel of trying to 'sabotage Turkey-EU relations and 'giving racists a message of ‘you're right'.
Germany blasted Celik's latest salvo, with Michael Roth, state secretary at the foreign ministry, blasting the comments as 'hurtful and unacceptable.
'This cannot be repeated, he told the Die Welt newspaper, saying that it was especially important now to 'show mutual respect to each other.
Gabriel said on Tuesday that Erdogan's strident style 'had apparently led some to feel motivated to try to threaten and harass my wife.
Erdogan last week urged ethnic Turks in Germany to vote against German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and two other parties in September 24 elections, labelling them 'enemies of Turkey.
Gabriel said at the time that Erdogan wanted to incite people in Germany against each other in 'an unprecedented act of interference in the sovereignty of our country.
Kurz on Sunday condemned 'the constant interference by Erdogan in the internal affairs of other states and suggested that Germany was not the only country where Turkey interfered.
Turkey claims that Germany, home to 3mn ethnic Turks, is sheltering Kurdish militants and suspected plotters of last year's failed coup.
Erdogan himself hit back at Gabriel personally at the weekend, telling him: 'Know your limits.
Relations between the Nato allies deteriorated sharply after the coup attempt, which was followed by a widespread crackdown in Turkey on the public sector and journalists.


Turkey accuses German minister of 'copying' racists

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