Turkish references to ‘Nazi period’ must stop, warns Chancellor Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Ankara’s references to the Nazi period over the cancelation of Turkish ministers’ meetings in the country must stop, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday.

“These comparisons of Germany with Nazism must stop. They are unworthy of the close ties between Germany and Turkey and of our peoples,” the chancellor told the Bundestag lower house of parliament.

The tension between the two countries increased after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan likened the cancelations of political meetings to “Nazi-era practices,” inviting a strong rebuke from Germany.

Merkel also said Germany and Turkey had many ties such as NATO membership and their joint fight against Islamic terrorism – once again using the term that had Erdogan fuming when the pair last met in Ankara – but differences had come to the fore recently and everything should be done to resolve that.

“There are on the one hand many common European-Turkish interests and on the other hand there are profound differences between the European Union and Turkey and between Germany and Turkey – and we’re feeling that again these days,” Merkel said.

“From our point of view it’s worth making every endeavour to advocate for German-Turkish relations but on the basis of our values and our expectations and with clarity,” she said.