Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan: Tolerating swastikas means German authorities are fascists

March 26, 2017 2:58 pm

Turkish President
gestures as he delivers a speech during a rally on
March 26, 2017 in Istanbul. (Photo by AFP)

Turkish
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses German authorities of fascism
because they tolerate swastikas being drawn on mosques in the country.

During
a ceremony held in Istanbul in Sunday, Erdogan slammed German
authorities for not taking action against neo-Nazi groups, who have
started to paint swastikas on mosques throughout the country.
He
also noted that German authorities have been indifferent towards the
NSU (Nationalist Socialist Underground) case in which the group was
accused of murdering eight Turkish nationals and a Greek citizen in a
bombing attack in a Turkish neighborhood and a series of robberies
between 2000 and 2006.

People
wave national flags and cheer during a rally in support of the Turkish
President on March 26, 2017 in Istanbul. (Photo by AFP)

Erdogan
also censured the German government for banning the defense contractor
Rheinmetall from selling some of its products to Turkey.    
He
noted that Berlin refrains from selling arms to its NATO ally Turkey,
but sells arms to terrorist groups. “They call Turkey’s president a
‘dictator’, but when we call them fascist with good reason, the German
authorities get offended.”
Turkey summons Swiss ambassador
Meanwhile,
the Turkish Foreign Ministry has summoned Switzerland’s ambassador in
Ankara over a demonstration held in Bern, which it claims was organized
by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which Turkey, the EU, and
the US regard a terrorist organization.
On
Saturday, thousands of people took part in a protest in the Swiss
capital, calling for a ‘No” vote in Turkey’s upcoming April 16
constitutional reform referendum.

People
hold banners and flags during a demonstration against Erdogan
dictatorship and in favor of democracy in Turkey in Bern, Switzerland
March 25, 2017. The banner reads ”Say no to Erdogan.” (Photo by
Reuters) 

Turkey
is set hold a referendum on the constitutional amendments, including
giving executive powers to the president, currently a ceremonial post,
and abolishing the office of the prime minister.
Swiss
Ambassador Walter Haffner was informed that Ankara expects Switzerland
to bring the people responsible for the demonstration to justice and to
take measures to stop such protests being held in the future.
Following the Saturday protest, Turkey summoned the Swiss charge d’affaires as Haffner was not present.
In his Sunday speech, Erdogan also slammed EU countries for backing a ‘No’ vote in the referendum.
“Switzerland
took it a step further. Their leftist parties and the terrorists …
have come together and carried out a march. In the Swiss parliament,
they hang my picture with a gun to my head. The Swiss parliament remains
silent in the face of this,” the Turkish president said.
Swiss
prosecutors announced later on Monday that they were investigating
whether the protest sign calling for Erdogan’s killing violated laws
against inciting violence. People demonstrating in Bern on Saturday
against plans to extend Erdogan’s powers held up a sign reading “Kill
Erdogan with his own weapons” and pictured a pistol aimed at his head.
Turkey
accuses several EU nations of permitting ‘No’ supporters to campaign in
their countries, but blocking rallies organized by ‘Yes’ supporters.
Germany and the Netherlands have banned several of such rallies, citing security grounds.

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