German politicians reacted with shock and anger over the Sunday's Erdogan's slam against Germany on of "fascist actions" reminiscent of Nazi times in a growing row over the cancellation of political rallies aimed at drumming up support for him among 1.5 million Turkish citizens in Germany, reported by DW.
German justice minister Heiko Maas told broadcaster ARD that Mr Erdogan's comments were "absurd, disgraceful and outlandish" and designed to provoke a reaction from Berlin.
He cautioned against banning Mr Erdogan from visiting Germany or breaking off diplomatic ties, saying that such moves would push Ankara "straight into the arms of (Russian President Vladmir) Putin, which no one wants".
The deputy leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party said the Turkish president was "reacting like a wilful child that cannot have his way", while a top leader of the CDU's Bavarian sister party described Mr Erdogan as the "despot of the Bosphorus" and demanded an apology.
A senior aide to Chancellor Angela Merkel hit back at Turkey’s government, saying Germany doesn’t need lessons in democracy after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan likened the cancellation of rallies by two of his cabinet ministers to Nazi practices, writes Bloomberg.
Peter Altmaier, Merkel’s chief of staff, called the comment “absolutely unacceptable” as tension escalates in a relationship already strained over Turkey’s human rights record after a failed coup to topple Erdogan in July. Volker Kauder, Merkel’s top lieutenant in the German parliament, linked the surge in tension to Erdogan’s campaign to expand his powers in a referendum planned in April.
“Nobody can outdo Germany in terms of rule of law, tolerance and liberalism,” Altmaier said in an interview with broadcaster ARD on Monday. “There’s no reason whatsoever for us to accept such accusations or advice from anybody.”
Julia Klockner, the deputy leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) said Erdogan was "reacting like a defiant child who cannot have his way."
"The Nazi comparison is a new high point of intemperance. It is simply outrageous!" Klockner told the German newspaper Bild, reports DW.
The CDU politician urged Erdogan to apologize for his comments, adding: "True statesmen do not speak like that."
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel also told "Bild am Sonntag" that although Germany values freedom of expression, whoever speaks here "must respect our rules."