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Erdogan to Turkish-German Voters: Mainstream German Parties Are 'Enemies of Turkey'

20 August 2017

The Turkish leader responded by calling German leaders "nazis" and "facists".

"Can/Cem in the race for treachery", reads the picture of Özdemir accompanying the tweet.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during a ceremony to mark the 16th anniversary of his ruling AK Party's foundation in Ankara, Turkey, August 14, 2017.

There are an estimated three million people of Turkish origin in Germany.

Gokcek is an active social-media user and has often used Twitter as a platform to excoriate his political opponents. "Vote for those who don't have enmity towards Turkey", he said.

Gokcek, who has been mayor of Ankara since 1994, garnered significant criticism in 2014 when he supported an anti-Semitic statement by Turkish singer Yildiz Tilbe, who tweeted "God bless Hitler".

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Gabriel criticized the president's remarks saying they constituted an interference in the German general election, which is scheduled to take place on September 24.

Erdogan was infuriated by Berlin once again in the run-up to Turkey's April referendum, after German authorities barred Turkish politicians form addressing rallies of Turkish citizens living in Germany. Green party parliamentarian Volker Beck said the arrest warrant was Erdogan's attempt "to extend his power beyond the borders of his country to intimidate his critics and to pursue them all over the world". "Forgive me but you have your legal system and so do we."Relations take a nosediveThere are three Germans citizens now imprisoned in Turkey, including Deniz Yucel, a journalist from Berlin-based Die Welt newspaper".

Merkel rebuked his remarks, saying Erdogan was "meddling" in German affairs and said, "German voters, including the ones with Turkish background, have a right to vote freely".

Since a failed coup in July past year, tens of thousands of people have been arrested in Turkey - including officials, academics and journalists.

The German affiliate of PEN, the writers association, said it believes the arrest warrant is politically motivated, citing his writings about the mass killing of Armenians in Turkey in 1915.

Erdogan to Turkish-German Voters: Mainstream German Parties Are 'Enemies of Turkey'