Thursday, March 23, 2017

I will call Europe fascist as long as they call me dictator: Turkey’s Erdoğan

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said he would call the European countries fascists as long as they continue to call him a dictator.

"You have the freedom to call Erdoğan dictator but Erdoğan does not have the freedom to call them fascist or Nazi. Take no offense but I will call them fascist as long as they call Erdoğan dictator," Erdoğan told in a live interview with Doğan TV Ankara representative Hakan Çelik aired on CNN Türk and Kanal D on March 23.

Erdoğan also said he deplored the newly-elected German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s remarks targeting himself.

"German President Steinmeier made a statement targeting me although we are good friends. I deplore him for his statement. I wish he had never made such statement," he said.

In his first speech as president, Steinmeier said Erdoğan risked destroying everything his country had achieved in recent years and damaging ties with its partners.

“The way we look [at Turkey] is characterised by worry that everything that has been built up over years and decades is collapsing,” Steinmeier said on March 22 in his inaugural speech.

“President Erdoğan, you are jeopardising everything that you, with others, have built,” he said, adding that he would welcome “credible signs” to ease the situation.

Erdoğan also added that he had no plans to visit Germany before the referendum.

In addition, the president also clarified his “Nazi” remarks for the Netherlands and Germany, saying that he uttered those words within the context of their definition.

“If I criticize Germany, I say this within its definition. If I say this by using the Nazi comparison, I say within its definition. I also say the same thing for the Netherlands. You will not allow my minister to the [Rotterdam] consulate and you will make your dogs bite my citizen… Where is the international law? Then, you are disturbed when we say Nazism,” he said.

He also stated that the European countries could face with surprises depending on the April 16 referendum results.

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