Erdogan tries to intervene in upcoming German elections

On Friday 18 August, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan once again called on German Turks to not vote for the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its coalition partners, the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) and the Greens, in the September elections. According to the German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, this is a crude interference in the elections. His Austrian counterpart, Sebastian Kurz, had a similar reaction and said the EU should stop all accession talks with Turkey.

The latest escalation of relations between Ankara and Berlin occurred after an arrest of six human rights activists, including a German citizen, by Turkey, who accused them of terrorism. Steffen Seibert, the German government spokesman, said there should be a revision of the three billion euros of aid the EU promised Turkey for helping to stop the flow of migrants. Germany is pushing to suspend preparations for the modernization of the EU-Turkey customs union and wants to take further measures which would lead to financial pressure on Turkey. In addition, Merkel talks about an overall reassessment and limitation of relations with Turkey. Erdogan's call could, therefore, strengthen Merkel's position in the elections.

About author: Jakub Maděránek

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