Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag on Saturday condemned German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel for what he deemed were disrespectful statements regarding President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Speaking to reporters in central Turkey’s Yozgat province, Bozdag said the comments pronounced by the German official were “disrespectful, insolent”.
Erdogan on Friday called on Turkish-origin German citizens not to vote for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, Martin Schulz’s Social Democrat Party (SDP) or the Green Party because he said they showed an anti-Turkey stance.
The German foreign minister criticized the Turkish president’s remarks saying they constituted an interference in the German general election, which is scheduled to take place on Sept. 24.
“Our honorable president’s call [was aimed at] those Turkish-origin [voters] who obtained citizenship in Germany and acquired the right to vote there, not other German citizens,” said Bozdag
“This is very clear, but despite this, there are statements [from the German side] that are very disrespectful, insolent and surpassed the boundary of modesty. I want to say that I condemn those statements […].”
He also accused German politicians, as well as the country state-run broadcasters, of backing the “no” campaign — not supported by the Turkish government — during the referendum campaign.
Key FETO suspect said to be in Germany
Turkey voted on April 16 to approve changes to the country’s constitution which would usher in an executive presidency.
Bozadag also said Berlin was clearly protecting the PKK terrorist group and that Germany had become a safe haven for the members of the Fetullah Terrorist Organizaion (FETO).
“[The PKK] carries out all kinds of propaganda there,” said Bozdag.
The PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and EU — resumed its decades-old armed campaign in July 2015 and have claimed 1,200 lives, including members of security forces and civilians.
Bozdag said Berlin had yet to react to the 4,500 dossiers handed by Ankara regarding the PKK terrorists’ activities in Germany.
He also said Ankara had not received a response from German authorities over the alleged presence of a key suspect in last year’s attempted coup.
Turkey has asked Germany to investigate media reports that Adil Oksuz was living in the country, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Wednesday.
Adil Oksuz is said to be the civilian leader of air force personnel loyal to FETO, which Ankara accuses of staging the July 15 putsch attempt.
Earlier this week, Ankara had issued a diplomatic note to Berlin asking whether Oksuz was in Germany.