Erdoğan dismisses German economic embargo, says they will lose

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressing the AK Party's group meeting at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) in Ankara on July 25. AFP

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has dismissed the threat of an informal German economic embargo and said Germany would lose in a long-running diplomatic rift with Turkey.

Criticizing Western countries for attempting to teach Turkey lessons in humanity while they were themselves involved in the “most brutal massacres” in history during World Wars I and II, Erdoğan said:

We have never had an unfavorable relationship with the investors of any country in Turkey. There are German firms that have been active in Turkey for more than a century. They have never had any problems here. They have made good profits, too. We are working in line with the win-win principle. But if you attempt to threaten us with this, you will be wrong and you will lose. There is no brand in the world, there are brands. You see that if one brand leaves, another will replace it.”

German officials have recently increased their criticism of Turkey, warning Germans against traveling to Turkey and talking about the possibility of an economic embargo after six human rights activists, including Amnesty International’s (AI) Turkey Director İdil Eser and German human rights consultant Peter Steudtner, who were detained on July 5 during a workshop at a hotel on İstanbul’s Büyükada, were put in pre-trial detention by an İstanbul court last Tuesday.

Erdoğan threatened Germany, which is Turkey’s main trading partner and which sent the biggest number of tourists to Turkey last year, with paying a high price in return for an economic embargo and told them to stop threatening Turkey.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble recently said Erdoğan is putting at risk his country’s centuries-old ties with Germany.

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