World News

Turkey says German comments on Erdogan's planned rallies "unacceptable"

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey lashed out on Thursday at German politicians for opposing President Tayyip Erdogan’s planned public appearances in Germany outside the G20 summit, saying they underlined double standards against Ankara.

Earlier on Thursday, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said the German government believed it would be inappropriate for Erdogan to make the appearances given tensions between the two NATO allies.

“It is regrettable that some politicians in Germany are making unacceptable comments with domestic political calculations,” Turkey’s foreign ministry spokesman, Huseyin Muftuoglu, said in a statement.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosts leaders of the G20 leading economies at a summit in Hamburg on July 7-8.

Muftuoglu also appeared to take a swipe at former European Parliament President Martin Schulz, who earlier this week referred to Erdogan as an “autocratic ruler”.

“The approach of the person who has chaired the European Parliament... once again underlines the true face of the mentality we are facing and their double standards,” he said.

Schulz, who served as president of the European Parliament from 2012 to January of this year, likened Erdogan to Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump, saying Europe must become stronger in response to a weakening of democracy elsewhere.

“There are some in the G20 that behave like autocratic rulers: Turkish President Erdogan, Russian President Putin and also U.S. President Trump,” he said.

Reporting by Ece Toksabay; Editing by David Dolan