Germany’s new president says Erdoğan jeopardising Turkish success
BERLIN - Reuters
AFP photoIn his first speech as president, Germany’s Frank-Walter Steinmeier has issued a stark warning to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, saying he risked destroying everything his country had achieved in recent years and damaging ties with its partners.
“The way we look [at Turkey] is characterised by worry that everything that has been built up over years and decades is collapsing,” Steinmeier said on March 22 in his inaugural speech in the largely ceremonial role.
“President Erdoğan, you are jeopardising everything that you, with others, have built,” he said, adding that he would welcome “credible signs” to ease the situation.
Ankara has been embroiled in a row with Berlin and other European capitals over campaigning among the Turkish diaspora for the April 16 referendum on constitutional changes.
NATO ally Turkey has repeatedly accused Germany of using “Nazi” tactics” to ban ministerial appearances and has caused anger in Germany by detaining German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yücel.
“End the unspeakable Nazi comparisons. Do not cut the ties to those people who want partnership with Turkey. Respect the rule of law and the freedom of media and journalists. And release Deniz Yücel,” Steinmeier said.