Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ has invited German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel to Turkey for psychological treatment, claiming that he is suffering from a “complex” linked to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Bozdağ’s remarks came on Saturday during a party meeting following critical remarks made by Gabriel about Turkey’s EU membership and Erdoğan.
Claiming that some Western leaders have an “Erdoğan complex,” Bozdağ harshly criticized the German minister, who, he suggested, should get treatment: “Gabriel has this complex [related to Erdoğan]. He is tactless, inept and ill-bred. He is humiliating his own people and country with his ineptness. Who are you, and who is Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan? How do you compare yourself with him? Look, these inept men men with complexes have a trait in common. They have the sickness of increasing their power by attacking the powerful, loved by the people, by everyone. There is no cure for this disease. However if Gabriel comes to Turkey, we will get him treated in a municipal hospital. That is why I am inviting him to Turkey.”
Gabriel on Thursday said Turkey would never be a member of the European Union as long as it is governed by Erdoğan.
Accusing Turkey of not taking EU accession talks seriously, Gabriel said: “It is clear that in this state, Turkey will never become a member of the EU. It’s not because we don’t want them but because the Turkish government and Erdogan are quickly moving away from everything that Europe stands for.”
Asking European leaders to mind their own internal affairs instead of fighting with Turkey and Erdoğan, Bozdağ said:
“Germany can’t hold elections without Turkey, the Netherlands can’t hold elections without Turkey, Austria can’t hold elections without Turkey, and England could not hold Brexit elections without Turkey. You are holding elections in your own countries. … Are the Turkish people going to vote in your elections? Are you going to be prime minister, foreign affairs minister, in Turkey? Why are you constantly fighting with Turkey and Turkey’s president? … You deal with Germans. Deal with problems of the Germans, the increasing racism, increasing xenophobia, increasing Islamophobia and increasing extremism. Deal with fascism, which is increasing every day. But no, their constant concern is Turkey.”
Gabriel asked how a country banning freedom of thought, arresting innocent people and oppressing the opposition could become a member of the EU and added that Germany does not have any problems with the Turkish people but rather with the Turkish government and its policies.
Despite reactions from Berlin “not to interfere in internal affairs,” Erdoğan recently urged Turks living in Germany not to vote for anti-Turkish parties in Germany’s general elections next month, further escalating the tension between Ankara and Berlin.
Turkey has been criticized by Germany and several other EU members due to Erdoğan’s crackdown on opponents, including journalists and human rights defenders, in the wake of a botched coup attempt last year. Erdoğan increased his presidential powers after a referendum in April, claiming that it is necessary to protect Turkey’s security from its domestic and foreign enemies.