Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed he will keep calling European leaders “Nazis” as long as they keep calling him a “dictator.”
“How does that work, you have the right to call Erdogan a ‘dictator’ but Erdogan doesn’t have the right to call you ‘fascist’ and ‘Nazi?’” he said in an interview with CNN-Turk and Kanal D television channels.
“They accuse me then they speak of Erdogan as a ‘dictator,’” he said, referring to himself in the third person, as cited by AFP.
“So I’ll continue to address them in these terms,” he said.
During recent week, Erdogan and other high-ranking Turkish officials have frequently called European leaders ‘Nazis’ and ‘Nazi remnants’, and ‘fascist and cruel’, after a diplomatic row with Germany and the Netherlands.
Both countries have prevented Turkish officials from participating in pro-Erdogan rallies in support for the upcoming constitutional referendum that could see Erdogan’s powers extended.
At a rally in Istanbul on Sunday, Erdogan once again labelled some European leaders “Nazis,” saying they “would revive gas chambers” if they weren’t so ashamed.
“When we call them Nazis, they get uncomfortable. They rally together in solidarity. Especially Merkel,” he said.
“Merkel… She backs [the Netherlands], too. You too are practicing Nazi practices. On whom? On my Turkish brothers and sisters in Germany,” the Turkish leader added.
In response to Erdogan’s inflammatory remarks, Angela Merkel called on Turkey to ‘tone down its rhetoric.’
“My statement stands that the Nazi comparisons coming out of Turkey need to stop.” Merkel said, while the newly elected German President, responded by warning Erdogan that he risked destroying everything his country had achieved in recent years.
Erdogan’s remarks caused an outrage in Germany, where country’s notorious Nazi past and the crimes of Hitler’s regime remain sensitive issues.
The relations between Turkey and the European Union are on their lowest point in decades.
A constitutional referendum will be held in Turkey on April 16, and voters will decide on 8 proposed amendments to the Constitution of Turkey. If adopted, the proposed constitutional amendments could greatly expand presidential powers.
Opponents of the Turkish regime see the referendum as an attempt to concentrate power in the hands or Erdogan and his rulling AK party.
Source: Russia Today