Prospect of Turkey's accession to European Union more unlikely: Germany

Prospect of Turkey's accession to European Union more unlikely: Germany

Berlin on Sunday blasted Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a spiralling diplomatic row, saying the strongman had gone too far in accusing Chancellor Angela Merkel of "Nazi" practices.

Meanwhile, in comments likely to cause further unease in Berlin, Erdogan also accused a jailed German journalist of being a terrorist. The federal government in Germany has even tried to distance itself from the decision of state governments for blocking Turkish campaign rallies.

The front page comes following similar vitriol from Erdoğan in which he likened both the German and the Dutch authorities to Nazis for their efforts to prevent Turkish rallies in support of the president occurring on European soil.

Turkey reacted with indignation Sunday after Germany's intelligence chief said he was unconvinced by Turkish assertions that Erdogan's arch-foe, the US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, was behind the failed coup in July.

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on March 17 the government is "experiencing a problematic process", and an uncomfortable environment trying to fulfill a visa deal with the EU.

"Turkey-EU is a closed file", added the European affairs expert.

Sigmar Gabriel described Erdogan's comments, including likening Germany's current leaders to Nazis, as "ludicrous" but said Europe should stop responding in a war of words which only plays into the Turkish leader's hands. "What the people say, what the law says, that's what is important for us", he added. In Germany 1.4 million who are eligible to vote.

With less than seven months up to the parliamentary elections in Germany, critics say Merkel has been conspicuously submissive in her approach to Erdogan for fear of him scrapping the refugee deal and thus destroying chances of her reelection.

The Turkish leader urged the immigrants in European countries to have big families to "fight the injustices of the West". But Cavusoglu's remarks on TV 24 channel came only three days before the one-year anniversary of a deal brokered between Brussels and Ankara that would allow for irregular migrants in Greece, the starting point of the trek to northern Europe, to be returned to Turkey in exchange for Syrian refugees hosted on Turkish soil. As we documented, Erdogan already has purged academia and the media.