Erdoğan: If you call me a dictator, I will call you Nazis

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan addresses supporters during a rally in İstanbul on March 11, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Friday that he will keep up his “Nazi” taunts targeting European leaders as long as they keep on calling him a “dictator.”

“As long as you call Tayyip Erdoğan a dictator, know that Tayyip Erdoğan will call you both fascist and Nazi,” Erdoğan said at a campaign rally in Denizli province in Turkey’s west.

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 Erdoğan’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” Erdoğan’s charge that Chancellor Angela Merkel was using “Nazi measures” but signaled it wanted to avoid escalating the feud.

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