Erdoğan says Germany will fail to form a government

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. AFP Photo

Amid tension between Berlin and Ankara, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Tuesday that Germany will fail to form a government following the federal elections held on Sunday.

Despite warnings from Berlin “not to interfere in our internal affairs,” Erdoğan called on Turks living in Germany not to vote for parties treating Turkey as an enemy before the elections and criticized Germany’s anti-Turkey stance.

“You will see they will not be able to form a government. It will take them at least a couple of months,” Erdoğan said.

Erdoğan also referred to the Netherlands, where two Turkish ministers were prevented from holding political rallies for a constitutional referendum and Dutch police used force to disperse Turks protesting the incidents in Rotterdam.

“The Netherlands attacked us, and they have still not been able form a government,” Erdoğan added.

Erdoğan said the Dutch prime minister had lost their friendship following the ban on Turkish ministers speaking in the Netherlands.

Berlin’s relations with Ankara have been strained by Turkey’s crackdown on government critics after a failed coup last year. Germany and its partners in the European Union say the crackdown undermines democracy.

Merkel said during a televised debate earlier this month that Turkey should not become a member of the European Union — Turkey’s largest trading partner with which it has a customs union.

She said she would talk to Germany’s EU partners to reach a compromise on ending Turkey’s accession talks with the bloc.

Erdoğan on Sept. 6 blasted Merkel and her Social Democratic rival Martin Schulz for their remarks against Turkey’s EU membership.

Turkey and Germany are also at odds over Berlin’s refusal to extradite asylum seekers Turkish President Erdoğan and his government accuse of involvement in the botched coup against him.

Germany has been angered by Turkey’s arrest of around a dozen German citizens, including German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yücel, who has been held for more than 200 days.

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