Turkish FM tells Germany not to give 'lessons' in democracy

Supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wave Turkish flags

Supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wave Turkish flags

Germany and Turkey must work towards restoring ties frayed by a series of disputes, Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Wednesday, while warning Ankara that any comparison to Nazis is a "red line that can not be crossed".

Ankara and Berlin have been locked in a new row over the past week because of a ban imposed by several German local authorities on rallies by Turkish ministers.

Following a breakfast meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Wednesday, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said he made clear "there are lines that should not be crossed and one of those is the comparison with Nazi Germany".

Relations between Germany and Turkey have soured markedly since a failed army bid last July to overthrow Erdogan.

The European Union, including Germany, has since been sharply critical of Turkey's mass arrests and dismissals of people suspected of links to the coup. We.have never intervened in German politics.

With some 1.4 million Turks in Germany holding the right to vote in Turkey, it is not uncommon to see politicians travelling there from Ankara to seek to sway the significant voter base.

"They are blocking "yes" voters and supporting "no" voters in our referendum", he stressed.

Cavusoglu's appearance at the mission, cheered by about 150 people, many waving Turkish flags, was intended as an act of defiance toward the German government after local authorities closed down meetings.

"We [Turkey] are a country that is strong enough to ensure the security of any German politician who wants to address the German citizens in Turkey", Celik told his counterpart, according to the source who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

Erdogan reportedly said that while Germans had "prevented Turkish leaders from addressing their communities", they allowed "members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party leaders to hold rallies".

"Nothing can stop us from convening with our citizens, nothing can cut our ties".

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