Top Turkish, German diplomats discuss meeting crisis on phone
ANKARATurkey and Germany’s foreign ministers conducted a phone conversation late on March 5 to reduce ongoing bilateral tensions over Germany’s refusal to permit Turkish politicians to campaign in Germany ahead of an April 16 constitutional referendum in Turkey.
The phone call came after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan likened German authorities’ actions to “Nazi practices” in a very strong-worded criticism that also described the prohibitions as “fascist.”
The crisis was sparked after the Gaggenau municipality in Baden-Württemberg withdrew its permission for a meeting of the Turkish community with Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ. Following Ankara’s harsh reaction, Turkish and German leaders spoke on March 4 to find a way to reduce the tension and assigned their foreign ministers to meet in person in Berlin on March 8.
The Turkish ministers were prevented from speaking amid criticism of Turkey’s deteriorating human rights record that includes anger over the condition of Deniz Yücel, a German-Turkish journalist who was detained in Istanbul on Feb. 14.