Germany has threatened to ban any further public appearances in Germany by Turkish ministers, after senior Turkish government figures repeated comparisons between German politicians and Nazis.
“I said that Nazi comparisons from Turkey had to stop, and I meant it – no ifs or buts,” said Chancellor Angela Merkel at a joint appearance with the Japanese prime minister in Hanover this morning.
“Unfortunately these comparisons have not stopped,” Ms. Merkel said. “We will not permit the ends to justify the means, or the breaking of all taboos.”
In Berlin, the German government’s deputy press secretary said that it was within Turkey’s power to “moderate their rhetoric to avoid lasting damage being done to relations.”
Ms. Merkel confirmed that the German government had communicated to the Turkish authorities, via a “verbal note,” that appearances by Turkish politicians in Germany could only take place “on the basis of constitutional principles. Otherwise, the German government reserves the right to take all necessary measures, including a reexamination of permissions granted by this note.”
The chancellor was reacting to direct comparisons made at the weekend by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in which he accused Ms. Merkel of personally using Nazi tactics in connection with bans on Turkish ministerial appearances.