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Germans tell Erdogan: back off

World | Mar 21, 2017
Germany has rejected Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's claim that Chancellor Angela Merkel used "Nazi measures."

That came with Turkey and the European Union - especially Germany with a Turkish community of hundreds of thousands - in hostilities ahead of an April 16 referendum about expanding Erdogan's powers.

Erdogan made the remark about Merkel after authorities in Germany refused to allow Turkish ministers to campaign there.

A Merkel spokeswoman said "Nazi comparisons are unacceptable in any form."

And a foreign ministry spokesman said Berlin would not fire up support for Erdogan by arguing with him.

Martin Schaefer asked: "Who would benefit if we paid back in kind - if we answered using the same language as the Turkish president?"

His answer: "Mostly the Turkish president who ... with threats, insults and more is seeking majorities of Turkish citizens in Turkey and ... in Germany [in] the referendum."

Germany could handle insults, he said, but "we are not defenseless or stupid or naive, and if pushed too far we'll react."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE



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