Turkey not Germany’s ‘whipping boy:’ MHP head
ANKARATurkey is not Germany’s “whipping boy,” the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) said on Aug. 24 as he came out in support of the government in its most recent dispute with Berlin.
Devlet Bahçeli backed President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the Turkey-EU Customs Union would not be expanded and aid to Turkey would be cut to a minimum.
“Turkey is not Germany’s whipping boy. The MHP stands by the government and state in its foreign policy, agreeing with its policies towards Germany,” Bahceli said in a news conference in Ankara.
Bahçeli, who has increasingly allied with the government in recent months, said the “mistakes” of German politicians did not go unnoticed in Turkey.
He said Germany had been “caught red-handed” in its support for organizations such as the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), believed to have masterminded last year’s failed coup.
The refusal to extradite FETÖ suspects is one of numerous complaints Turkey holds against Germany.
Relations between Turkey and the EU nations, particularly Germany, have been damaged by a series of disputes following the attempted takeover, in which 250 people were killed.
The arrest of several German nationals, including a journalist and a rights activist, have angered Berlin and restrictions on German lawmakers’ access to İncirlik Air Base in the southern province of Adana have led to Germany’s withdrawal of forces.
Last weekend, Erdoğan urged Turks in Germany to vote against “anti-Turkish” parties in Germany’s federal election next month.
When warned to stay out of German politics by German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, the president told him: “Know your place.”