Germany says Erdogan's Nazi comparisons are unacceptable

Berlin's Parliament, the Reichstag. Picture source Wikimedia via Cezary Piwowarski. Photograph:( Others )

Reuters Berlin, Germany Mar 20, 2017, 11.39 AM (IST)

Germany on Monday dismissed as unacceptable an accusation by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan that Chancellor Angela Merkel is "applying Nazi methods" against Turks and Turkish officials in Germany.

"Nazi comparisons are unacceptable in any form," a German government spokeswoman said, adding that it was up to Turkey to tone down its rhetoric and avert damage to relations between the two countries.

Germany's Nazi government during World War II--the perpetrators of the Holocaust in which millions of Jews, Roma, differently-abled and more were murdered--is a legacy contemporary Germany still wrestles with decades later.  

Erdogan has previously said that both the German and Dutch governments egaged in "Nazi practices" after each country prevented Turkish ministers from campaigning at events for expatriate voters ahead of an April referendum in Turkey that would expand Erdogan's power.

Erdogan said in a speech in Istanbul on Sunday: "Merkel, now you're applying Nazi methods. Against my brothers who live in Germany, and against my ministers and lawmakers who visit there. Would this suit the ethics of politics? Your mission is not to support terrorist organisations, but to extradite them."

Germany, and Berlin in particular, has had a large Turkish population for decades. Estimates peg Germany's Turkish immigrant population at roughly three million.  

(WION with inputs from Reuters)