Speaking during an event organized by the Women and Democracy Association (KADEM) in Istanbul, Erdoğan said German authorities think that by preventing Turkish ministers from meeting Turkish nationals living in that country German authorities vainly hope that the “Yes” votes in the upcoming April 16 referendum will turn into “No” votes.
Several million people of Turkish origin now live in Germany.
Turkey has summoned the German ambassador in Ankara to protest against the cancellation of a public speech by a Turkish minister in a German town.
He said a German-Turkish journalist detained by Turkey was a German agent and a member of the outlawed Kurdish militant group, the PKK.
German politicians reacted with shock and anger.
“We surely don’t expect such a stance from a country that we consider an ally and a friend”, added the source.
Rallies in Gaggenau, Cologne and Frechen were cancelled by authorities.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan (R) is pictured with justice minister Bekir Bozdag during the International Istanbul Law Congress in Istanbul, October 17, 2016.
This follows in the wake of Turkish prime minister Binali Yildirim addressing Turkish voters at a rally in Oberhausen last week.
Germany’s foreign minister, Sigmar Gabriel, has said the case would make “everything harder” for Turkish-German relations.
Kern also slammed Erdogan’s plan, saying “the introduction of a presidential system would further weaken the constitutional state, constrain the separation of powers and contradict the values of the European Union”.
Tensions between Germany and Turkey have escalated into a war of words.
On Monday, Altmaier repeated Merkel’s argument that campaign rallies by Turkish ministers, in general, should not be banned.
“They thought Tayyip Erdogan would go to Germany. That’s unheard of”, he said. Let them do it. “When we told them to hand him over to be tried, they refused”.
Turkish authorities have sought to hold a similar gathering in the Netherlands which also has a sizeable Turkish community.
The two countries’ foreign ministers are expected to meet next week over the dispute. We are not treating you like that, and you have to treat Turkey properly. “Where is freedom of expression?”
Erdogan and the European Union last March forged a deal to stem the flow of refugees entering Greece via the Aegean, with Turkey agreeing to take back people turned away.
Under an ongoing state of emergency, the government has also shuttered dozens of news outlets and purged tens of thousands from the judiciary and civil service. But Zeybekci said he would still go ahead with the visit.