TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - Celik wrote on his twitter account on Wednesday that “Gabriel is only giving a message to racists that they are ‘right’ by seeking to sabotage the relation between Turkey and the European Union.”
“We know very well the underlying causes of the far-right, fascist, and anti-Islamic groups’ enmity towards Turkey and its President,” he added.
The Turkish minister also took aim at Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, tweeting: “It can be seen that the German foreign minister has reached the same level as the refugee enemy and symbol of racist politics: the Austrian foreign minister.”
Turkey has been locked in a diplomatic feud with several EU states, particularly Germany and Austria, since the 2016 coup attempt against the Ankara government.
EU nations have been critical of Turkey’s post-coup crackdown, which has seen over 40,000 people arrested and 120,000 others sacked or suspended from a wide range of professions on suspicion of having ties with coup plotters.
Adding to tensions, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged the Turkish community in Germany last week to vote against Chancellor Angela Merkel’s political bloc in the upcoming September 24 Federal election, labeling pro-Merkel forces as “enemies of Turkey.”
Gabriel later hit back at Erdogan, slamming his remarks as “an unprecedented act of interference in the sovereignty of our country,” in comments that prompted yet another reaction by the Turkish leader, who said the German foreign minister must learn his “limits.”
Erdogan’s call also drew a rebuke from the Australian foreign minister.
Kurtz warned the Turkish head of state on August 20 against any interference in European elections, urging the EU to cancel accession talks with Ankara until it meets the bloc’s demands and shows respect for democracy and human rights.
The already tense Ankara-EU ties was hit by another bout of tensions in April, when several EU countries with large Turkish communities, such as Germany and Austria, banned pro-Ankara rallies in the run-up to a controversial referendum, which granted sweeping powers to the Turkish president.
Back then, Erdogan repeatedly angered European powers by slamming their bans as a “racist, Nazi tactic,” likening several European officials to “Nazis.”
Ankara accuses Berlin of giving sanctuary to outlawed Kurdish militants, who have long been fighting for autonomy at home, and allowing their sympathizers to stage anti-Turkey rallies across Germany, Presstv reported.
For its part, Berlin has severely criticized Ankara for using the abortive 2016 coup to suppress the dissidents, among them six rights activists, including a German national.
Germany wants the release of its citizen Peter Steudtner, calling the allegations against him and other activists as baseless.
Berlin has also threatened Turkey with economic sanctions and suspension of bilateral cooperation in weapons projects.