MidEast

Turkey Lashes Out Against Germany, Threatens “Those Who Mess About with Turkey”

Turkish diplomats are lashing out against Germany in general, and against German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The German Chancellor on Monday had described herself as “appalled” at Ankara’s heavy-handed response to demonstrators protesting the Islamist government of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Police forces have turned tear gas and spray cannons against the protesters, leaving five dead and thousands injured. They have also rounded
up anti-government critics
in arrest sweeps. This weekend Erdogan even declared victory over the Turkish citizens who had been protesting.

The European Union called for an investigation of the violence. Germany this week also blocked the opening of a new Turkish chapter in Europe that would have advanced Ankara’s goal of formally joining the E.U. The Turks responded with something less than composure:

Merkel’s conservatives have rejected Turkish EU membership in their German election programme, saying the country would “overburden” the bloc because of its size and economy, sparking anger in Ankara.

“If Mrs Merkel is looking for domestic political material for her elections, that material should not be Turkey,” Turkey’s EU minister Egemen Bagis told reporters on Thursday. “If Mrs Merkel looks into it she will see that those who mess about with Turkey do not have an auspicious end,” he said.

It is unlikely that darkly threatening the duly elected leader of Germany will assuage Berlin’s concerns over the seriousness with which Turkey approaches multilateralism and democracy.

[Photo: Cducsu / Wiki Commons]