President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has harshly criticized Germany for making Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy and Deputy Parliament Speaker Ayşenur Bahçekapılı wait at a German airport because of a problem related to her passport.
Speaking at one of his regular meetings with neighborhood heads (muhtars) at the presidential palace in Ankara on Wednesday, Erdoğan said Bahçekapılı recently had her bag stolen during a visit to Germany and that her passport and ID were gone.
He said Bahçekapılı went to a Turkish consulate to get a temporary passport to be able to travel to Turkey but that she was not allowed to travel at an airport in Germany.
“Although she said she is a deputy and deputy parliament speaker, they made her wait for hours [at the airport]. Come on, you take terrorists in, you welcome them, you have them as guests. But you are making the deputy parliament speaker of this country and her delegation wait at the gate for hours,” Erdoğan said.
The incident he was referring to took place at Cologne Airport as Bahçekapılı and others were returning to Turkey on Monday. After her bag and diplomatic passport were stolen in Cologne, Bahçekapılı obtained a temporary passport from the Turkish Consulate, but the police did not allow her to travel with that document and held her at the airport police station.
Erdoğan also threatened Berlin with “retaliation” if the officers involved in this incident are not investigated.
“Turkey will have to retaliate in kind if the necessary actions are not taken against the officers involved,” he added, noting that “many terrorists freely roam around Europe” despite the fact that Turkey has demanded their deportation.
“Whether or not they deport, we will continue to put our own tactics in place,” Erdoğan said.
In another speech last month, Erdoğan slammed German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who criticized Turkey for its actions against freedom of the press, accusing her country of harboring terrorists.
“They are giving us advice. But it is we who are concerned about your stance. You are aiding terrorism. That terror will hit us like a boomerang. We have no expectations from you, but you will go down in history for harboring terrorists,” Erdoğan said in a speech in the Turkish capital of Ankara.
In the meantime, Turkish media reports said on Wednesday afternoon that German Ambassador to Turkey Martin Erdmann was summoned by Turkey’s Foreign Ministry over the Bahçekapılı incident.