18:13 GMT30 July 2021
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    Recent statements by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who compared the current policies of the German government with those of the Nazis, caused shock not only among German politicians, but also among the country's media. Below are comments of the main German media outlets on the recent unprecedented incident.

    German TAZ newspaper commented on Erdogan's statements in its publication, saying that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan uses anti-German rhetoric to gain more support in the upcoming referendum on constitutional reform in Turkey.

    "Germany is for him a beneficial enemy. He presented himself as a strong man who can withstand the 'arrogant Europeans'. He therefore deliberately looks for the confrontation, calling the imprisoned journalist Deniz Yucel a 'spy' and accusing the Europeans of hurting Turkey," the newspaper wrote.

    A similar point of view was expressed by Rheinische Post newspaper, according to which "the Turkish President is well aware of what he does when he compares Germany in 2017 with the national socialist dictatorship."

    The article noted that in this way the Turkish leader "seeks to damage the relations between the two countries as much as possible. This is not a mistake and not a lapsus linguae. Erdogan is not at all interested in trying to calm down the heated debate. On the contrary, Ankara believes that it will be able to exploit the escalating dispute with the Germans in its agitation campaign in favor of a new constitution providing for the presidential system."

    At the same time, TAZ newspaper criticized the German authorities' decision to cancel the Turkish rallies in support of constitutional changes on German soil. "It gave him [Erdogan] a chance to blame Europeans for bias and double standards. Those who impose such bans, fall into Erdogan's trap."

    An opposite opinion was expressed by German journalist Heribert Prantl in his article for Sueddeutsche Zeitung. According to him, Germany shouldn't allow Turkish politicians to organize mass events on its soil, in which they call for such things as arrests of unwanted lawyers, journalists and scientists.

    "The question stands: Is the German state — which is committed to human rights — not only justified, but even obliged to oppose such kind of advertising?" the journalist asked, adding that otherwise Germany would contribute to Erdogan's practices of "elimination of fundamental rights and deprivation of freedoms."

    For its turn, German Die Zeit newspaper was shocked about Erdogan's arrogance and impudence.

    "Representatives of the Turkish government are the ones who should be accused of double standards in the first place: at home, they did not to let their media make any single independent step, they set a sad record for the number of arrested journalists, minimized freedom of speech by creating an atmosphere of fear, and then they demand for themselves all these rights in the country abroad. This is an unprecedented arrogance."

    Inventively, German Die Welt newspaper compared German-Turkish relations with a love affair.

    "The Turk was always the one who loved Germany, and he was always sad that he wasn't loved by the German in return. But now the Turk doesn't give a shit, whether the Germans love him or not. This is a very bad sign. I am very pessimistic about the prospects of the next 30 years of German-Turkish relations."

    Turkish-German relations reached a new low after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan compared the current policies of the German government with those of the Nazis.

    On March 5, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan drew a parallel between the German authorities and Nazis criticizing Berlin for banning Ankara's campaign rallies on German soil ahead of a crucial vote on the constitutional reform. The statement caused shock in German political circles that called it "unbelievable and unacceptable."

    The statement came a few days after two German cities withdrew their permissions for Turkish rallies that were to be addressed by Turkish justice and economy ministers. By organizing the public campaign, Ankara was seeking to gain the support of its large expat community in Germany for a constitutional reform in Turkey.


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