Tension Between Turkey, Germany Escalates

On Sunday, the Turkish President Erdogan made personal attacks against Merkel by accusing her of resorting to Nazi practices having in mind the decision of German authorities to ban the appearance of Turkish ministers on German territory in relation to the upcoming referendum in Turkey on April 16 on an enhancement of presidential powers.

Mrs Merkel said that such comments were "breaking every taboo, without consideration for the suffering of those who were persecuted and murdered" by the Nazis.

Responding to Mr Erdogan's comments, she said that Germany reserved the right to "take all necessary measures", including reviewing future events that had already been granted permission. The row erupted after authorities in Germany and other European Union states refused to allow some Turkish ministers to campaign for a "yes" vote on their soil, provoking a volcanic response from the Turkish strongman who said the spirit of Nazi Germany was rampant in Europe.

"The government is watching this very closely, and we maintain that Nazi comparisons are unacceptable in any form", Demmer said, as quoted by the Hurriyet daily newspaper.

Raising the issue at the start of a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, she stressed that "appearances by Turkish politicians here can only take place on the basis of the principles of German constitutional law".

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"My demand that Turkey should stop Nazi comparisons remains in force, with no ifs or buts", Merkel told reporters at the CeBIT technology fair in Hanover. President Erdoğan on March 19 said that "Germany's mission was not to support terrorist organizations". Against my brothers who live in Germany, and against my ministers and lawmakers who visit there.

"The comparisons between the Federal Republic of Germany and National Socialism. are not only insulting and absolutely wrong, they also diminish the reign of terror of the Nazis", he said in a statement. "If they weren't ashamed, they would revive the gas chambers". "However, that's what he does and it is unworthy of a head of state", he said.

Erdogan at the weekend accused Merkel of using "Nazi measures" after local and state authorities in Germany had refused to allow several Turkish ministers to campaign for a "yes" vote there.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said he anxious that the conflict would spill over to ties between citizens of German and Turkish descent. "This is why I stated clearly to my Turkish colleague that a boundary has been crossed", stated Sigmar Gabriel in an interview. "Who would really benefit from it if we paid back in kind, if we answered using the same language as the Turkish president?" said the ministry spokesman, Martin Schaefer.

Germany and Turkey have been locked in a deepening diplomatic row after Berlin banned some Turkish ministers from speaking to rallies of expatriate Turks ahead of a referendum next month, citing public safety concerns. To hit back with strong verbal retaliation would mean "falling for Erdoğan's tactic", Schaefer said, stressing that Germany is "a strong, democratic country" that could handle such insults.