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Turkey: Germany fueling discrimination and racism

Staff Writer | September 4, 2017
Turkey has reacted strongly to comments by German Chancellor and her debate opponent for calls to end Ankara's talks of joining the European Union.
Ibrahim Kalin
Tensions   Talks of joining the European Union
Ibrahim Kalin, the spokesman for Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said Monday that Germany is fueling "discrimination and racism" with recent comments.

Kalin said the tone of the televised debate reflected the "narrow political horizon" in Europe. In a post on Twitter, he said it doesn't matter what party wins the German elections on Sept. 24 because "it is now clear which mentality will win."

During the televised debate, the German chancellor said she did not believe Turkey should become a member of the European Union and would discuss with her EU partners ending accession talks with Ankara.

Martin Schulz, her rival, said if he became the next chancellor, he would be much more candid than Merkel in his criticism of Turkey's violation of human rights under Erdogan.

Kalin said the focus on Turkey diverted attention from more pressing problems.

"It is not a coincidence that our president, Erdogan, was a main topic of the debate," Kalin tweeted, criticitzicing German politicians' "indulgence in populism."

"We hope the problematic atmosphere that made Turkish-German relations the victim of this narrow political horizon will end," he wrote.

Steffen Seibert, who is Merkel's spokesman, said the chancellor hasn't changed her opinion on Turkey.

"At the moment, Turkey is not at all in a position to join the European Union," he said.