Erdoğan tells Turks in Germany not to vote for 'Turkey's enemies' Merkel, Schulz, Greens
AA photoPresident Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called on Turks in Germany to not vote for “enemies of Turkey,” claiming that the main reason for the recent crisis between Ankara and Berlin is the “race for votes” ahead of the general elections in Germany.
“Right now in Germany the [Social Democrats] SPD and the [Christian Democrats] CDU are saying, ‘We can get many votes if we batter Turkey.’ I am telling all my citizens in Germany to never support those parties.
Do not support the CDU, the SPD or the Greens. They are all the enemies of Turkey,” Erdoğan told reporters after Friday prayers in Istanbul on Aug. 18.
“Give necessary support to political parties that do not engage in enmity against Turkey. It is not important whether they are the first or the second party,” he added.
The call prompted a reaction from German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, who blasted Erdoğan’s remarks as “interference.”
Over a million Turks living in Germany have the right to vote in the upcoming general elections scheduled to be held on Sept. 24.
Turks in Germany have recently founded two parties, Alliance for Innovation and Justice (BIG) and Allianz Deutscher Demokraten (ADD). Both parties ran in the state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia but they are not eligible to run in the general elections.
Erdoğan said that voting is “in a way a struggle for honor for all my citizens living in Germany.”
“I call on them [Turks in Germany] not to vote for those parties who have been engaged in such aggressive, disrespectful attitudes against Turkey. I invite them to teach a lesson to those political parties at the ballot box,” he added.
Commenting on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s recent remarks suggesting that Berlin would not pursue an update of the Customs Union, Erdoğan denied Ankara’s responsibility for the ongoing tensions.
“If anyone is responsible for this, it’s Germany. Germany has been carrying out its internal political disputes by embroiling Turkey and some other European countries,” he claimed.
Saying the EU did not fulfill its promise regarding giving Turkey 6 million euros as part of a refugee deal signed between Brussels and Ankara, Erdoğan praised Turkey for spending “over 30 million euros on refugees so far.”
“Did the European Union fulfill its promise? It didn’t. What’s Germany talking about at the moment? The upcoming elections. The SPD and the Christian Democrats are basically saying: ‘The more we beat up Turkey, the more votes we win,’” he said.
“Germany has fallen into a situation where it has become a country that does not even obey the [accession] acquis of the European Union,” Erdoğan added, saying Turkey “doesn’t need advice from Germany regarding the EU accession process.”
“We have never been in a fight against EU countries and we are absolutely not thinking about such a thing. But we will not allow any country to play with our dignity and honor,” he said.
The president also commented on claims that one of the key fugitive July 2016 coup attempt suspects is currently in Germany.
Ankara has issued a diplomatic note to Berlin asking whether Adil Öksüz is in Germany, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said in an interview on Aug. 16.
Erdoğan said Ankara “expects Germany to act on the issue.”
“We want terrorists from them, just like they engage in a different attitude when they ask for their citizens from us. They ask for criminals but we ask for terrorists. I’ve said it before, I have given the files of 4,500 terrorists to Merkel herself,” he added.