Erdogan: I will keep up ‘Nazi’ taunts as long as I am called ‘dictator’ - Media Shah Alam Erdogan: I will keep up ‘Nazi’ taunts as long as I am called ‘dictator’ - Media Shah Alam

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Sabtu, 25 Mac 2017

Erdogan: I will keep up ‘Nazi’ taunts as long as I am called ‘dictator’

ISTANBUL: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday he will keep up his “Nazi” taunts targeting European leaders as long as they keep on calling him a “dictator.”
“How does that work, you have the right to call Erdogan a ‘dictator’ but Erdogan does not have the right to call you ‘fascist’ and ‘Nazi’”? he said during an interview with the CNN-Turk and Kanal D television channels.
Relations between Turkey and Europe have been severely strained since Turkish ministers were thwarted from campaigning on the continent for a ‘yes’ vote in next month’s referendum on expanding Erdogan’s powers.
Ankara has said such behavior was reminiscent of Nazi Germany and also raised alarm over what it sees as rising racism and Islamophobia.
Germany on Monday branded as “unacceptable” Erdogan’s charge that Chancellor Angela Merkel was using “Nazi measures,” but signaled it wanted to avoid escalating the feud.
Erdogan, who has also taken similar aim at the Netherlands, did not sound conciliatory.
“They accuse me then they speak of Erdogan as a ‘dictator,” he continued, still referring to himself in the third person.
“So I will continue to address them in these terms,” he added.
Erdogan again denounced the cancelation of his ministers’ trips to European countries with a large Turkish diaspora ahead of the referendum.
On Wednesday he warned that Europeans risk being unsafe on the world’s streets, as the crisis between Ankara and the EU showed no signs of abating.
The same day Germany’s new President Frank-Walter Steinmeier again urged the Turkish leader to “stop these appalling comparisons with Nazism, do not cut the ties with those who want a partnership with Turkey.”
Erdogan said he was “good friends” with Steinmeier and “deplored” his comments. He added that there could be a “period of review” of Turkey relations with the EU, while stressing the importance of economic ties with the bloc, his country’s biggest trading partner.
Turkey is officially an EU-candidate nation but its accession process has been practically blocked for years.
He said that an EU-Turkey agreement on migrants, aimed at reducing the numbers reaching Europe from Africa and the Middle East, would be part of an “A to Z” review of government policy to begin after the April 16 referendum.
Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu met with his Swiss counterpart Thursday after having to call off a campaign appearance among diaspora voters, in a bitter row between Ankara and Europe.
Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter “underscored the validity of Swiss law on Swiss soil, urged Turkey to comply with it,” a statement said.
“Freedom of expression is a universal value recognized by Switzerland, which hopes that this freedom will also hold true for Turkish citizens whether they cast their votes in Switzerland or in their own country,” it quoted Burkhalter as saying.
Cavusoglu’s visit comes after the Swiss government rejected a request from Zurich authorities to cancel a previously planned visit by the minister earlier this month, after the canton’s security spokesman warned that a rally he was due to attend could be hit by “heavy demonstrations.”
However, the organizers canceled the event after the hotel they had booked refused to host it.
Swiss police on March 10 also blocked a rally in the northern canton of Argau supporting a “yes” vote in the referendum.
Burkhalter expressed concern about a crackdown in Turkey following a failed July 15 coup that the government has blamed on US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen.
Erdogan, in a separate development, hit out at the head of Germany’s intelligence service for suggesting that Berlin is not convinced Gulen played a role in the failed coup.
Erdogan accused BND foreign intelligence chief Bruno Kahl of making the remarks on behalf of Germany’s leaders, who he said backed Gulen’s movement.
Kahl told Der Spiegel magazine that Turkey tried to “convince us on a number of different levels. But they have not yet been successful.”


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