Erdogan calls on Turks in Germany to reject main parties - Standard

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Friday urged ethnic Turks in Germany to reject its main parties in upcoming elections, prompting a sharp warning from Berlin to stop the "unprecedented" meddling.

Relations between the two countries have turned increasingly hostile after Turkey arrested a German-Turkish journalist in February and Germany refused to allow Turkish government ministers to campaign for expatriate Turks' votes before a referendum giving Erdogan sweeping powers in April.

"You need to support political parties there now which do not display enmity to Turkey". "Let's show those who want to play us against each other that we will not participate in this evil game", he said.

Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Twitter: "We expect foreign governments to not interfere in our internal affairs".

Having fled Turkey to Germany in 1991, the 68-year-old author was detained at a hotel in the Spanish city of Granada over an Interpol warrant earlier issued by Turkey.

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"Teach them a lesson in the German elections", he said.

They should also reject the Greens, he said, branding all three parties "enemies of Turkey". He added in a recent interview with Badische Zeitung that he does not see "any indication of a fundamental change in policy at the moment" in Ankara.

Merkel, who leads the CDU party, will be running for a fourth term as chancellor in the September 24 elections. Gulen, has however, denied the accusations.

But Erdogan is also popular with Turks living in Germany, and 59 percent of the votes cast by Turkish citizens resident in Germany went to his ruling party in November 2015 parliamentary polls.

Erdogan's remarks come after another week of tension between Ankara and Berlin, particularly over comments by German Chancellor Angela Merkel appearing to rule out a renewal of a Customs Union deal between Turkey and the European Union. His aim is "to hurt German democracy", charged Karaborklu.


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