George and Hans cannot defeat us, says Erdoğan
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused foreign powers of trying to “weaken” the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), after the Turkish government criticized Germany for allowing opposition rallies and a French magazine for portraying Erdoğan as a “dictator.”
“You George, you Hans, you cannot defeat us. You cannot put a distance between us. I love my people for the sake of God, and my people love me for the sake of God,” Erdoğan said in a public rally in the western province of Manisa on May 28.
His comments came as the Turkish government criticized the German authorities for allowing the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) to hold a rally in the German city of Cologne on May 26.
Germany has laws that oblige foreign politicians to get permission from the country’s authorities three months before any rally, and AKP politicians have been prevented from campaigning there.
The Foreign Ministry defined Germany’s approach as “hypocritical” in a written statement on May 27, stating that Germany’s permission for a HDP rally “cannot be reconciled with democracy, the fight against terrorism and expectations of normalization in Turkish-Germany relations.”
“Those who are allowing terrorists to rally under police guard, while preventing all of our friends in every step they have taken, are also protecting with police the posters that are against us under the name of magazine cover,” Erdoğan said.
“I have a bond with my people, no matter what poster you hang and no matter what you say,” he added.
Le Point reported on May 28 that Erdoğan supporters tried to remove the front cover poster from a billboard in the French city of Valence.