18:36 GMT04 April 2020
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    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has again resorted to strong language and compared German authorities to Nazis after both Chancellor Angela Merkel and her main election rival Martin Schulz agreed at a debate that there's no place for Ankara in the EU.

    ANKARA Sputnik) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Angela Merkel and Martin Schulz, who are the main candidates to be elected as the German chancellor at the upcoming election, agreeing that Berlin should seek to end talks on Ankara's EU accession.

    "I'm not saying you're a Nazi, a fascist. I am explaining the incident… This incident is Nazism. This is fascism," Erdogan said.

    He also called European politicians who declare the need to stop negotiations on Turkey's accession to the European Union immoral.

    "The use of the anti-Turkish card by European politicians in their internal political struggle worries us a lot. They go to bed and think about Turkey and Erdogan. What did Erdogan do to you? Turkey does not officially refuse its membership in the EU. We want EU bodies to be more sincere in their programs on Turkey. Speaking about the termination of negotiations with Turkey [on joining the European Union] is political immorality," Erdogan said, addressing the heads of regional branches of the ruling Justice and Development Party.

    He also accused the leaders of the EU countries of failing to keep their promises to Ankara on the abolition of the bloc's visa regime for Turkish nationals and the provision of financial assistance for the reception of refugees by Turkey.

    Erdogan's harsh rhetoric came as Merkel said during TV debates on Sunday that she personally does not see any possibility for Turkey to enter the European Union. Schulz in turn promised to end EU-Turkey accession talks if he becomes German chancellor.

    Moreover, French government spokesman Christophe Castaner said earlier this week that the current political situation in Turkey did not allow to continue negotiations on the accession of this country to the European Union.

    Turkish-EU relations have significantly deteriorated after the 2016 attempted coup in Turkey as, from the EU's point of view, Ankara continues to violate human rights while persecuting those who are believed to have links with the coup plotters. Brussels additionally criticized the April referendum that granted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with more powers.

    Turkey accuses the European Union of supporting the organizations that are banned in the country, in particular, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), as well as followers of Islamic prayer Fethullah Gulen, who is accused by Ankara of masterminding the failed coup. The war of words culminated with Erdogan comparing the German authorities' to Nazis after Berlin had barred Turkish ministers from addressing Turkish nationals living in Germany ahead of Turkey’s April referendum on constitutional amendments on expanding presidential powers.

    Turkey signed an association agreement with the then-European Community in 1963, submitting a membership application in 1987. In 1997, Turkey was declared eligible to join the European Union. Among the EU members, Turkey has the most strained relations with Austria and Germany. Vienna has repeatedly urged Ankara to put an end to the accession bid, whereas Berlin insists on a review of EU economic policy with regard to Turkey. The European Parliament voted to suspend Turkey's accession talks in early July.


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    Nazism, Angela Merkel, Martin Schulz, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Germany, Turkey
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