A Turkish daily newspaper published an illustration of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a Nazi uniform next to a swastika on Friday, an act which is certain to throw another wrench into an already deeply damaged relationship between Germany and Turkey.
The image on Güneş‘s front cover shows a grim-looking Ms. Merkel in an SS uniform detailed with insignia, sporting a toothbrush mustache like that of Adolf Hitler beside the words “Mrs. Hitler” in German and “ugly aunt” in Turkish.
“She is not at all different from Hitler,” the inner section reads.
Güneş, whose name means “The Sun” in Turkish, has a circulation of around 100,000 copies.
The incendiary cover page has surfaced on the same day that another senior Turkish official has been barred from holding a political rally in the central German city of Hanover.
A representative of Chancellor Merkel’s office said Wednesday that Turkish politicians could still be blocked from campaigning across the country if laws are not respected, including one on maliciously defaming government.
Earlier this month Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Germany of “Nazi practices” after other campaign events were banned in the country. Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu has also made similar comments.
Mr. Erdogan and his officials are trying to mobilize Turkish voters living in Germany to vote “yes” in an April 16 referendum, which would greatly expand presidential power in the country.
Barbara Woolsey is an editor for Handelsblatt Global in Berlin. To contact the author: firstname.lastname@example.org