In response to recent comments made by the Luxembourg foreign minister, who compared the practices of the Turkish government in a massive post-coup purge to Nazi methods, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said the real Nazis are the Europeans.
Speaking at the 20th International Business Forum on Wednesday, Erdoğan lashed out at Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn as well as German Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth, who said Germany welcomed asylum requests from Turkish victims of the purge. The Turkish president said that “they compare us to the Nazis without looking at the blood that is dripping from their hands,” adding that Nazism was born in the West.
Critical of the German invitation to political asylum seekers, Erdoğan said that instead of welcoming Syrian refugees, Germany opens its arms to the “supporters of terrorists.”
Going further, Erdoğan called the Europeans in general Nazis, saying, “You are the real Nazis,” in obvious frustration with Germany and Luxembourg in particular.
Luxembourg’s foreign minister has accused Turkish authorities of using methods reminiscent of those employed by the Nazis, in a crackdown following a July coup attempt in Turkey.
Luxembourg Foreign Minister Asselborn told Germany’s Deutschlandfunk radio on Monday that the names of people who have been fired are published for all to see, that they have no chance of finding another job and thus no income, and that they are facing the risk of hunger.
“These are methods, one must say this bluntly, that were used during Nazi rule. And there has been a really, really bad evolution in Turkey since July that we as the European Union cannot simply accept,” said Asselborn.
“It is a reflection of delusion to compare Turkey to the Nazis. Those who cover up murders as döner kebab vendor killings cannot dare to criticize us,” Erdoğan said in reference to the unsolved murders of several Turks in Germany by allegedly neo-Nazi groups.
German Minister Roth said on Tuesday that “Germany is an outward-looking country and is open to all those who are politically persecuted as a matter of principle,” adding: “They can apply for asylum in Germany. That applies not just to journalists.”
In reaction to those remarks, Erdoğan said without naming Germany that “if you are going to admit people into your country, admit victims of terrorism, not terrorists.”
As part of the most massive purge that Turkey has ever witnessed, over 100,000 people have been dismissed from government positions and in excess of 30,000 people have been jailed, including more than 140 journalists.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli said the government had confiscated 527 companies since a July 15 coup attempt in an unprecedented blow to private property protections despite constitutional guarantees.
Amid growing complaints of torture and even rape in prisons targeting purge victims, on Oct. 25 the US-based rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report that Turkish police have tortured and otherwise ill-treated individuals in custody after emergency decrees removed crucial safeguards in the wake of the failed coup attempt.