Germany to Erdogan: You've gone too far

Germany angry after Turkish President accuses Merkel of using "Nazi measures".

Ben Ariel ,

Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Germany said on Sunday that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had gone too far after he accused Chancellor Angela Merkel of using "Nazi measures", AFP reports.

Turkey and the European Union are currently locked in a crisis ahead of an April 16 referendum on expanding Erdogan's powers.

The row erupted after authorities in Germany and other EU states refused to allow some Turkish ministers to campaign for a “yes” vote on their soil, provoking angry reactions from Erdogan.

The Turkish President on Sunday said the spirit of Nazi Germany was rampant in Europe.

"When we call them Nazis they (Europe) get uncomfortable. They rally together in solidarity. Especially Merkel," Erdogan was quoted as having said in a televised speech on Sunday.

"But you are right now employing Nazi measures," Erdogan said in a reference to Merkel, while pointedly using the informal "you" in Turkish.

"Against who? My Turkish brother citizens in Germany and brother ministers" who planned to hold campaign rallies for a 'yes' vote in the referendum, continued the Turkish leader.

Germany's Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel later branded Erdogan's comments "shocking".

"We are tolerant but we're not stupid," he was quoted as having told the Passauer Neue Presse newspaper. "That's why I have let my Turkish counterpart know very clearly that a boundary has been crossed here."

Julia Kloeckner, the vice-president of Merkel's party, also reacted angrily to the comments, telling journalists, "Has Mr. Erdogan lost his mind?"

Erdogan’s row with Germany comes a week after he had a similar spat with the Netherlands.

Last Saturday, the Netherlands refused to allow Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to land in Holland and Turkish Family Affairs Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya to reach the consulate.

Later, Turkish authorities blocked off the Rotterdam consulate, and Kaya was forced to hold meetings in her office.

In response, Turkey announced it "does not want" the Dutch ambassador to return to his post in Turkey, while Erdogan accused the Dutch government of being "Nazi remnants" and "fascists."

He later also called on international organizations to impose sanctions on the Netherlands, saying the country was acting like a "banana republic".