Merkel seeks to soothe tensions with Turkey

German Chancellor defends dialogue with Ankara amid ongoing standoff over Turkish campaign rallies

Merkel seeks to soothe tensions with Turkey

World Bulletin / News Desk

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has defended her policy of seeking dialogue with Ankara amid attempts to calm tensions over Turkish campaign rallies in Europe.

In an interview published on Friday, Merkel dismissed calls from German opposition parties for a tougher response to Ankara’s heavy criticism of its European partners.

Merkel told German daily Passauer Neue Presse she favored addressing issues in direct talks rather than entering into a war of words in public. 

“When I speak with President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan I speak very clearly and say how things stand. But as a Chancellor, I view our relations with Turkey on the whole, which also includes geopolitical considerations, and our coexistence with millions of people of Turkish origin here in Germany,” she added.

Ankara has heavily criticized European states after the authorities in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands banned some campaign rallies ahead of Turkey’s April 16 referendum on sweeping constitutional changes.

President Erdogan compared the bans with Nazi-era practices and also accused European governments of taking sides in Turkey’s referendum by favoring the No campaign.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 24 Mart 2017, 17:44