Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has been frequently defined as “dictator” by many political observers, has said he would call the European countries “fascists” as long as they continue to call him a “dictator.”
“You have the freedom to call Erdoğan dictator but Erdoğan does not have the freedom to call them fascist or Nazi. Take no offense but I will call them fascist as long as they call Erdoğan dictator,” Erdoğan told in a live interview on Doğan Media Group’s CNN Türk and Kanal D on Thursday evening.
Erdoğan has also reacted against the harsh remarks of Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the newly elected president of Germany, and said “German President Steinmeier made a statement targeting me although we are good friends. I deplore him for his statement. I wish he had never made such statement.”
In his first speech as president, Steinmeier said Erdoğan risked destroying everything his country had achieved in recent years and damaging ties with its partners. “The way we look [at Turkey] is characterized by worry that everything that has been built up over years and decades is collapsing,” Steinmeier said on March 22 in his inaugural speech. “President Erdoğan, you are jeopardizing everything that you, with others, have built,” he said, adding that he would welcome “credible signs” to ease the situation.
Erdoğan also added that he had no plans to visit Germany before the referendum.
Claiming that the problems with Europe were caused by some EU countries, Erdoğan stated that the European countries could face with surprises depending on the April 16 referendum results.
Ankara has been embroiled in a row with European countries over campaigning among the Turkish diaspora for the April 16 referendum on constitutional changes. Erdoğan and his ministers has repeatedly accused Germany and some other EU members of using “Nazi” tactics” to ban ministerial appearances.
March 23, 2017