Berlin – Germany has threatened Turkish politicians with a ban on public appearance.
The threat is coming in an escalating war of words triggered by the refusal of several European countries to allow Turkey to hold rallies in support of constitutional change.
Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told newsmen on Saturday in Berlin that Germany had been “very clear in saying that we can always take, and will always take, necessary measures if Ankara does not abide by German law.
“Those who cross the line cannot assume that they can propagate their political views here.’’
Turkish President Recep Erdogan has called the leaders of Germany and the Netherlands “Nazi” and “fascist” in recent weeks over their refusal to allow his ministers to campaign there.
Both countries have large Turkish populations which Erdogan is trying to court ahead of a referendum in April on the expansion of his presidential powers and the weakening of the Turkish parliament.
Gabriel also said that Turkey’s European Union membership prospects were “more distant than ever before.”
He said he had not previously been in favour of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s preference for a “privileged partnership” with Turkey rather than EU membership.
He, however, said “because of Brexit the situation now is completely different”.
He added, “if the EU could negotiate a special relationship with Britain it could serve as a blueprint for other countries.”