Chancellor Angela Merkel said on March 20 that her demand that Turkey cease drawing Nazi comparisons with Germany and its allies applies “without ifs or buts”, and pointed to a government threat last week that it could prevent Turkish politicians from entering the country. Merkel’s comments came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused her personally of “committing Nazi practices”. Erdoğan’s comments were the latest escalation in a string of comments by Turkish officials drawing Nazi parallels with present-day Germany and the Netherlands in a dispute over restrictions on Turkish ministers campaigning there for an upcoming referendum. Merkel pointed to a Foreign Ministry note sent to Turkey last week allowing Turkish referendum polling stations in Germany, in which Ankara was told that appearances by Turkish politicians must respect the principles of the German constitution, and that Berlin otherwise reserves the right to “take all necessary measures”.
French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have said Turkey should obey French and German laws in campaign rallies for the upcoming referendum on shifting to an executive presidential system. Hollande said on March 16 that he agreed with Merkel that future events organized in the two countries for the Turkish referendum campaign could take place “provided they adhere to French and German laws”. Germany banned several planned rallies by Turkish ministers, triggering a diplomatic spat between the two countries, with Turkish President RecepTayyipErdoğandescribing the bans as “fascist”. He has also decried the Dutch authorities as “Nazi” for blocking a Turkish minister’s meeting last weekend.
As an upcoming Nov. 24 European Parliament vote on the status of EU-Turkey talks heats up the debate on Turkey’s stalled accession to the 28-member bloc, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has backed continued dialogue while criticizing Ankara.