Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Global | By Doris Richards

German Foreign Minister: Turkey 'Further Away from EU Membership Than Ever'

German Foreign Minister: Turkey 'Further Away from EU Membership Than Ever'

But Gabriel said responding to the comments would only serve Erdogan's interests. "What they will invent to further annoy Europe [with] above and beyond outrageous insults, I really don't know", Yesilada said.

Relations between Berlin and Ankara have soured recently over a German Parliament resolution labeling the 20th-century killing of Armenians as "genocide", Turkey's crackdown on the opposition and civil society following a failed coup last summer, and appearances in Germany by Turkish officials campaigning for constitutional change in an upcoming referendum.

Turks overseas In addition to fuelling nationalism in Turkey, the row with the Netherlands and Germany may affect the decisions of the more than three million Turks living in European Union member states who vote early.

Germany's foreign minister on Saturday openly accused Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan of ramping up anti-European rhetoric in a bid to score political points back home ahead of a key referendum.

Juncker warned that talks on Turkey's accession to the European Union would automatically end if Ankara were to re-introduce the death penalty.

Sweeping aside the EU's remarks, Turkey's European Union affairs minister and foreign minister earlier this week threatened to tear up the migration deal, accusing the European Union of reneging on its promise to grant visa exemption for Turkish citizens.

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The demo "Solidarity for Turks" had been organised in the wake of the weekend riots in Rotterdam which took place after two Turkish ministers were banned from addressing rallies. "What the people say, what the law says, that's what is important for us", he added.

"He needs an enemy for his election campaign: Turkey humiliated and the West arrogant", Mr Gabriel told the German daily Der Spiegel.

There is no difference between the social democrat and fascist parties in the Netherlands, said Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu Thursday, one day after Dutch polls saw the ruling center-right party hold off an extreme-right challenge and secure an apparent third term.

Mr Gulen, a former Erdogan ally who has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999, has strongly denied the accusation.

"What we saw following the putsch would have happened regardless, maybe not on the same scale and with such radicalism", he said. Kurds make up a sizable number of the over 3 million people of Turkish origin in Germany.

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