1. Inhalt
  2. Navigation
  3. Weitere Inhalte
  4. Metanavigation
  5. Suche
  6. Choose from 30 Languages

News

Erdogan tells German Turks not to vote for Angela Merkel

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has slammed Germany's three main political parties as "enemies of Turkey" ahead of parliamentary elections. The comments drew a swift rebuke from Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Watch video 00:26

Merkel: 'Citizens with Turkish ancestry have a free right to vote'

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday told Turks living in Germany they should punish mainstream German parties in September's parliamentary elections.

"I am calling on all my countrymen in Germany to not make the mistake of supporting them," he said, singling out Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, the Social Democrats and the Greens as "enemies of Turkey."

Read more: Gabriel: Hardline Turkey policy is 'paying off'

Instead he urged Turks to "support those political parties who are not enemies of Turkey," calling it a "struggle of honor."

Merkel sharply rebuked his remarks, rejecting Erdogan's "meddling" and pointing out that "German voters, including the ones with Turkish background, have a right to vote freely."

"We will not stand for any kind of interference," she said from a Friday campaign event in Herford, northwest Germany.

Watch video 03:14

Erdogan tells Turks in Germany not to vote for CDU, SPD or Greens – DW's Simon Young reports

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel was also quick to condemn Erdogan's comments, telling the RedaktionsNetzwerk media group they amounted to an "unprecedented act of interference in the sovereignty of our country."

He accused the Turkish leader of seeking to incite people against each other, and urged voters to "show those who want to play us against each other that we will not participate in this evil game."

Relations between the two NATO allies have become increasingly strained in the wake of last year's failed coup in Turkey. One key point of contention is Ankara's jailing of German nationals - a journalist and a human rights worker - amid the thousands of people who have been arrested in a post-coup crackdown. Turkey, meanwhile, has accused Berlin of protecting suspects alleged to have played a role in the coup attempt.

Watch video 03:08

Awaiting trial in Turkey

"I call on them not to vote for those parties who have been engaged in such aggressive, disrespectful attitudes against Turkey, and I invite them to teach a lesson to those political parties at the ballot box," Erdogan said.

CDU leader Angela Merkel is running for a fourth term as chancellor in federal elections on September 24. Around one-third of the 3 million Turks living in Germany are eligible to cast votes.

nm/rt (Reuters, AFP, AP, dpa)

DW recommends

Audios and videos on the topic