Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan’s spokesman İbrahim Kalın on Monday criticized remarks made by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and German Social Democrat leader Martin Schulz over Turkey and said the anti-Erdoğan stance in Europe has become a means of comfort for Europeans.
During a television debate on Sunday both Merkel and her rival in elections later this month Schulz reiterated their opposition to Turkey’s EU membership.
Arguing that attacks by Germany and the EU against Turkey and Turkish President Erdoğan reflect the narrowing horizon of the EU, Kalın said: “The opposition to Turkey in Europe has become a means of comforting themselves through which they can ignore fundamental problems and define themselves via an ‘other’ enemy. Those societies that define themselves through an enemy can never find their identities.”
Kalın also criticized Merkel and Schulz for not addressing discrimination and racism during the debate.
The comments are likely to worsen already strained ties between the two NATO allies after Merkel said on Friday Berlin should react decisively to Turkey’s politically motivated detention of two more German citizens.