Turkish president reiterates calls over German election

Turkish president reiterates calls over German election

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at the German government on Saturday for criticising his call to ethnic Turks to vote against Germany's two ruling parties in September elections, warning the foreign minister to "know your limits".

At a press conference in Istanbul on Friday, he insisted Turkey "bears no responsibility" for tensions with Germany, putting the blame squarely on Merkel's Christian Democrats and two other mainstream political parties. "I think they will be giving the necessary lesson to those parties at the ballot box", Mr Erdogan said.

Erdogan's call comes days after German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is also leader of the Christian Democratic Union, criticized Turkey for jailing journalists and activists, saying that the bilateral relationship couldn't continue unchanged.

Merkel said on Wednesday that Germany would not change or update the customs union deal with Turkey, and that Germany had lowered membership preparation aid "to a minimum" for Turkey to join the EU.

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"Erdogan has lost any sense of proportion", Schulz wrote on Twitter.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel on August 19 asked his Spanish counterpart that Akhanli be allowed access to consular assistance "as quickly as possible" following his arrest.

Since a failed coup in July past year, tens of thousands of people have been arrested in Turkey - including officials, academics and journalists.

German Green MP Volker Beck said the move was politically motivated and that he had requested that Mr Akhanli should not be extradited to Turkey.

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Erdogan's remarks are the latest in an ongoing spat between Ankara and Berlin, which spilled over after the botched military coup which took place in Turkey in 2016.

There are an estimated 3 million people of Turkish origin living in Germany.

Ankara became angry earlier this year when Berlin banned Turkish politicians from campaigning in Germany ahead of Turkey's constitutional referendum, citing security concerns.

"There have been nine German citizens arrested in Turkey on unknown or far-fetched charges", Gabriel said.

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