Holy wars in Europe are coming, top Turkish diplomat says

Posted March 20, 2017

Relations between Berlin and Ankara have soured recently over a German Parliament resolution labeling the 20th-century killing of Armenians as "genocide", Turkey's crackdown on the opposition and civil society following a failed coup last summer, and appearances in Germany by Turkish officials campaigning for constitutional change in an upcoming referendum.

"But you are right now employing Nazi measures", Erdogan told Merkel using the informal "you" in Turkish.

"Today the situation is totally different due to Brexit". Erdogan accused the Netherlands and Germany of behaving like "Nazis", and subsequently, calling on millions of Turks in Europe to take action.

In a heated row over banned Turkish government rallies on European soil, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan showed no signs of backing down on Sunday, this time directing accusations of Nazi behavior at German Chancellor Angela Merkel herself. In search of an enemy, any enemy, he and his fellow Turkish political leaders are going after Europe on the eve of a referendum which they hope will greatly consolidate power in his hands. They rally together in solidarity. But Erdogan said he would sign it immediately.

He used an informal form of "you" in Turkish.

Erdogan has spent the past week slamming European nations - especially the Netherlands and Germany- after Turkish ministers were stop from carrying out campaign meetings there as part of his referendum to gain more powers. Kalın made the comment in an interview with broadcaster CNN Türk, Reuters reported.

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In an interview published by Hamburg weekly Der Spiegel, Germany's foreign minister suggested that for now the most that Turkey can hope for is to, one day, achieve a "privileged partnership" with the bloc.

Scheduled for April 16, the plebiscite proposes amendments to the constitution that will make Erdogan the sole executive head of state, with the authority to choose his own cabinet ministers, enact laws, call elections, and declare states of emergency.

Some 2.5 million Turkish citizens resident in Europe are eligible to vote in elections in their homeland.

In early March, Turkey's Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag pulled out of a scheduled visit to Germany, after a small town in German south-western region of Baden-Wurttemberg denied him the chance to address his countrymen.

Last weekend Dutch officials, citing "security concerns", prohibited Çavuşoğlu from entering the Netherlands to attend a pro-referendum rally in the largely immigrant city of Rotterdam.