Merkel ally says Erdoğan 'not welcome' in Germany
BERLIN - Reuters
REUTERS photoPresident Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has crossed a line by comparing Berlin's government to the Nazis and is no longer welcome in Germany, a senior ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel said on March 21.
The rebuke from Volker Bouffier, vice chairman of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, reflects growing exasperation over Erdoğan's assertions that Germany and other European powers were using Nazi tactics by banning Turkish political rallies in their territories.
"Enough is enough," said Bouffier, who is also premier of Hesse state where the financial capital Frankfurt is located. "Mr. Erdoğan and his government are not welcome in our country, and that must be now be understood," he told DLF radio.
German media have reported that Erdoğan plans to visit Germany this month to rally the estimated 1.4 eligible Turkish voters living here to support the April 16 referendum on constitutional amendments.
Bouffier said such a visit would create security problems.
"Someone who insults us in this way cannot expect that we will assemble thousands of police to protect him," he said.
Germany's government has said it has not received a formal request for a visit by Erdoğan.