Sigmar Gabriel, the German Foreign Minister, has said his wife was threatened because of the dispute between him and Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Deutsche Welle reported on Monday.
Gabriel, who spoke to German news agency DPA, said Erdoğan’s attitude was clearly motivating some people to disturb his wife, who received threat messages on the answering machine in her clinic. If the leader of a country displays such an attitude towards individuals, there will be those who will see themselves entitled to directly disturb individuals, said German minister.
Following Erdoğan’s call on Turks living in Germany not to vote for parties treating Turkey as an enemy and “teach a lesson” to anti-Turkish parties in next month’s parliamentary election, German minister said: “That is an unprecedented act of interference in the sovereignty of our country.”
Ignoring Gabriel’s warning that Erdoğan should keep out of German politics, Erdoğan said: “Who are you to talk to the president of Turkey? Talk to Turkey’s foreign minister. Know your place.”
German minister said Erdoğan was turning Turkey into an undemocratic country with his civil coup and a closer cooperation needed with those who are not supporting Erdoğan’s opinions.
I believe that more than half of the people in Turkey are in favor of democracy and are not supporting Erdoğan and they want Europe and Germany to support democracy in Turkey, said Gabriel.
Meanwhile, following Erdoğan’s insults to German politicians, Merkel’s party CDU demanded an increase in the sanctions to be imposed against the Erdoğan regime. CDU’s foreign relations spokesperson Roderich Kiesewetter spoke to the RBB radio on Tuesday and stated that the sanctions should directly target the Erdoğan family. “For instance, we could freeze the Erdoğan family’s assets abroad and their bank accounts. We have many options on how to do that,” said Kiesewetter.
Kiesewetter has also said that it doesn’t make sense to him that the Russian controlled oligarchies have their assets frozen while no sanctions are imposed against the Erdoğan family. “We must think in the long term, and we must guarantee the shared values of Europe,” added he. Kiesewetter has also said that Europeans should stop going to Turkey for vacation under any circumstances, and concluded by saying that Turkey should be removed from NATO in the medium term.
Following a series of disputes between the two NATO allies due to Turkey’s crackdown in the wake of a botched coup attempt last summer, Merkel recently said a customs union agreement between Turkey and the European Union should not be expanded unless the tension eased with Turkey.
Holding Germany’s strategy responsible for the tension between the two countries, Erdoğan said Germany had carried its domestic crises to that level and had become a country that does not comply with the EU.
Erdoğan also accused the EU of not keeping its promise of allowing visa-free travel to Turkey and of not providing the promised financial assistance. (SCF with turkishminute.com)