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Germany makes ‘red lines’ clear to Turkey

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (R) meets his German counterpart, Sigmar Gabriel, in Berlin, March 8, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel says he has made it clear that any attempt by Turkish officials to compare the German government to Nazi Germany is a “red line” that should not be crossed.

Gabriel, who hosted his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, in Berlin on Wednesday, said he “made clear that comparisons between Nazi-era and the cancellation of rallies or rule of law in Germany is forbidden.”

“Both sides have the responsibility to simply not cross certain red lines, and comparisons to Nazi Germany is one of them,” Gabriel said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier accused Germany of “fascist actions” reminiscent of Nazi practices after Berlin blocked three Turkish rallies aimed at promoting a “yes” vote in a referendum on constitutional reforms in Turkey next month.

On Tuesday, and because of the German ban, Cavusoglu had to address supporters from the balcony of the Turkish consul’s residence in Hamburg.

Gabriel, the German diplomat, further said that “returning to normality is what my Turkish colleague and I want.”

“Whatever differences and arguments we have, there is no alternative to talks because (only) then is there a possibility of returning, step-by step, to normalized and friendly relations between Germany and Turkey,” Gabriel said.

The recent row has strained the bilateral diplomatic relations over the past week. Earlier, and also in reaction to the German ban, Erdogan accused Germany of “harboring” terrorism.

Turkey has also detained a German-Turkish reporter over accusations that he was a German spy. It was not clear if the detention was motivated by political reasons.

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