Merkel to Turkey: Comparison of modern Germany to Nazi 'cannot be tolerated'

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel has called on Turkish officials to stop comparing modern Germany to Nazi Germany as tensions continue to escalate between the two nations.

  • Date: 2017/03/09
  • Time: 20:56
  • News Code: 38033
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Merkel to Turkey: Comparison of modern Germany to Nazi 'cannot be tolerated'

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a session of the German lower house of parliament Bundestag in Berlin (March 9, 2017)

VON PRESS Europe: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Germany of "Nazi practices" last week after several Turkish ministers were denied permission to hold rallies in Germany in support of an upcoming referendum on extending his powers.

Addressing the German lower house of parliament, Bundestag, on Thursday, Merkel said Turkey's accusations of "Nazi-style practices" in modern Germany are "sad" and"cannot be tolerated."

"Comparisons with Nazi Germany always lead to misery, to the trivialization of the crimes against humanity committed by National Socialism [more commonly known as Nazism]," the German leader said.

Such comparisons by Ankara must stop, she said, adding "they are not worth considering our close ties between Germany and Turkey and our peoples - politically, in our society, as a NATO partner and economically. "

Merkel, however, said German officials would continue to do all in their powers to secure the release of detained German-Turkish journalist, Deniz Yucel.  

In February, Turkey arrested the German newspaper Die Welt journalist, whom Erdogan has described as both a German spy and a representative of the outlawed Kurdish rebel group PKK, triggering a row between the two countries.

"The profound and serious differences between the Germany and Turkey touch fundamental issues of democracy and law," Merkel said.

She cited "the situation of the freedom of opinion and the freedom of press in Turkey, about the fate of the many arrested journalists, also the journalist Deniz Yucel, for which the German government will do whatever they can."

Last weekend, several German cities cancelled planned events in which Turkish cabinet ministers wanted to address pro-Erdogan rallies, citing security concerns.

Ankara described the cancellations as efforts by Berlin to sabotage the pro-Erdogan rallies as well as "meddling" in Turkey's affairs.

About 1.5 million people of Turkish descent living in Germany are eligible to vote in the referendum next month on constitutional reform that would grant President Erdogan extended new powers.

Politicians in other European countries have also urged bans on any pro-Erdogan campaigning aimed at gathering support for a "yes" vote in Turkey's April referendum on constitutional reforms.  

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