Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Wednesday blasted German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Social Democratic rival Martin Schulz for their remarks against Turkey’s EU membership.
Following the recent detention of two German nationals in Turkey, Merkel and Schulz reiterated their opposition to Turkey’s EU membership in a television debate, and Merkel vowed on Tuesday to urge other EU member countries to think about putting an end to or suspending Turkish accession talks at a meeting in October.
“I’m not saying you’re a Nazi, a fascist. I am explaining the incident. … This incident is Nazism. This is fascism,” Erdoğan said in response.
Arguing that Turkey has fulfilled the necessary requirements for EU membership whereas the EU has not kept its promises, Erdoğan criticized the EU’s stance towards Turkey, calling it “hypocrisy and political immorality.”
“We didn’t have any problems with the EU. You’ve kept Turkey waiting. Turkey has fulfilled all its commitments. It’s the EU that should take a step,” Erdoğan added.
Earlier in March, Erdoğan had accused Merkel of being engaged in Nazi practices against Turkish people living in Germany after Turkish ministers were prohibited from campaigning there for a referendum in April on expanding presidential powers.
Erdoğan has been criticized by Germany due to crackdown on opponents, including journalists and human rights defenders, in the wake of a botched coup attempt last year.
Erdoğan has increased his presidential powers after the referendum in April, claiming that it is necessary to protect Turkey’s security from its domestic and foreign enemies.
Twelve Germans are currently political prisoners in Turkey.