Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has further strained his country’s relationship with Germany by describing the main German political parties as “enemies of Turkey”.
Speaking after Friday prayers, the Turkish President criticised those who he said had an aggressive or disrespectful attitude to his country, inviting Turks in Germany to teach the major political parties there a lesson when the country goes to the polls on 24 September.
Berlin responded with fury to Erdogan’s remarks.
Foreign Minister, Sigmar Gabriel, said: “I don’t want the people here being set against each other. We stand for a democratic country, and we don’t tolerate any external interference in our democracy”.
In April, President Erdogan narrowly won a referendum, giving him sweeping new executive powers. In the run up to the vote, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, infuriated Ankara when she prevented Turkish politicians from addressing campaign rallies directed at Turkish citizens in Germany.
Germany, along with many European countries, has expressed concern that Erdogan is using last year’s failed coup attempt in Turkey as an excuse to clamp down on dissent.