Turkey slams Germany's 'disrespectful messages' about Erdogan, democratic values

Turkey slams Germany's 'disrespectful messages' about Erdogan, democratic values
From CBC - September 4, 2017

Turkish officials have denounced German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Martin Schulz, her main opponent in this month's general election, for their anti-Turkish rhetoric during a televised debate.

Ibrahim Kalin, spokesman for the Turkish presidency, said in a tweet Monday thatMerkeland her Social Democratic Party rival were seeking to divert attention from urgent issues in their country and in Europe, such as a surge in discrimination and racism.

In Sunday's debate, Schulz said he would seek to end long-running but currently stalled talks on Turkey joining the EU over what he perceived to be Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's increasingly authoritarian policies.

Merkel, who has previously expressed doubts about Turkey ever joining the EU, refused to commit firmly to the move, which would have to be agreed among EU members. She sharply criticized Erdogan's rule, saying: "Turkey is departing from all democratic practices at breakneck speed."

Candidates blasted for amyopic views'

Relations between the two countries have been tense for some time. Turkey has blamed Germany for harbouring people with alleged links to last year's failed coup against Erdogan as well as outlawed Kurdish militant groups, while Berlin has accused Turkey of backsliding on democratic values. More than 50,000 were arrested in the aftermath of the coup.

Omer Celik, Turkey's chief negotiator for its European Union bid, slammed the candidates for their "careless" tone.

"We do not accept these disrespectful messages against Turkey," he said in a tweet.

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