The diplomatic row between Germany and Turkey, Erdogan and Merkel, sees no sign of letting up.
In what started as a rift over the Germany’s cancellation of Turkish political rallies aimed at gaining support for Erdogan among the 1.5 million Turks living in Germany, has turned into a full blown game of chicken, complete with Hitler references and a pending migrant flood.
Earlier this week, German daily newspaper Bild, lashed out at Erdogan, accusing him of “endangering Europe’s stability through his lust for power”.
The German daily had said…
“Bild tells the truth to Erdogan’s face – you are not a democrat! You are hurting your country!”
Bild’s front page upset Ankara, and propelled Turkey’s foreign ministry to issue a statement describing the article as “mind-boggling” and part of a mindset “hinging on hatred”.
The foreign ministry said media outlets that publish such articles are “are doomed to take their places in the trash of history.”
On Friday Turkish media fired back at Bild and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Turkish pro-government newspaper Gunes (“Sun”), ran a front page edition depicting Chancellor Angela Merkel in Nazi uniform with a Hitler-style moustache. The paper labeled the German leader as “She Hitler”…with the words in German: “#Frau Hitler” and calling Merkel an “ugly aunt”.
The image, complete with a trending hashtag, was splashed all over the front page, with a Nazi swastika on Merkel’s “uniform” and another swastika next to her head, as the Chancellor holds a gun.
The Turkish paper also accused Merkel of “trying to be the leader of fascists, creating anti-Turkish enmity using Austria, the Netherlands and Belgium in Germany’s backyard”.
“Germany, which has open arms for terrorist organisations…is trying to instigate the whole of Europe against Turkey.”
German deputy government spokesman Georg Streiter refused to be comment, saying, “we are not taking part in a game of provocation.”
Turkey and Europe are locked in a bitter spat after Germany and the Netherlands blocked Turkish ministers from holding rallies to campaign for a ‘yes’ vote in next month’s referendum on expanding President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s powers.
Erdogan has repeatedly accused Germany and the Netherlands of acting like “Nazis”, and claimed Merkel is “supporting terrorists”.
His behaviour has prompted an angry reaction from Europe, with Merkel and French President Francois Hollande lashing the comments as “unacceptable” on Thursday.