On Monday, the Turkish Foreign minister accused Europe of returning to “values” which prevailed shortly before the Second World War, such as “barbarism”. This stemmed from the growing tensions with Germany, after Angela Merkel announced her desire for an end to negotiations on Turkey’s membership of the EU.
Mevlüt Cavusoglu considered that Europe “was turning towards the values of the era which preceded the Second World War…barbarism, fascism, violence and intolerance.”
Furthermore in a communiqué, his department accused German political leaders of encouraging “Islamophobia”. It stressed that Turkey had helped Europe during the “significant chaos” of the last couple of years. The department said that this was linked to the arrival of numerous refugees in Europe during 2015.
On Sunday evening, during a televised debate in the lead-in to the German parliamentary elections, due to take place on September 24th, the current Chancellor, Angela Merkel, said that she favoured an end to negotiations on Turkey’s membership of the EU. This has provoked anger in Ankara, against the backdrop of the increase in heated exchanges between Turkey and Germany. These have occurred despite both countries being NATO allies.
On Monday, the Turkish Minister for European Affairs, Omer Celik, criticised the “populist line” taken by Germany’s political leaders. The spokesman for the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, criticised the “lack of vision” shown by the German Chancellor and her “submission to populism”.
Relations between Turkey and Germany have been particularly tense since the failed coup on July 15th, 2016. Ankara has attributed this to the preacher, Fethullah Gülen, who denies responsibility.
Berlin has for months now denounced the purges carried out by the Turkish government following the aborted coup d’état. It accuses Ankara of having placed 11 Geman citizens in detention for “political reasons.” Some of these have dual German-Turkish nationality.
The Brussels Times