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Erdogan tells Germany: ‘You do not have the power to defame or scare us’

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C) speaks during 38th Mukhtars Meeting in Ankara, Turkey on June 1, 2017 [Kayhan Özer / Anadolu Agency]
President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C) speaks during 38th Mukhtars Meeting in Ankara, Turkey on June 1, 2017 [Kayhan Özer / Anadolu Agency]

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insisted on Friday that Germany does not have the power to defame or scare his country. He made his comments in response to German threats and economic measures.

“I want to remind my German friends,” said Erdogan, “and all the world, you do not have the power to defame Turkey. You do not have the power to scare us with this kind of thing.”

On Thursday, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel had complained that German citizens “are no longer safe from arbitrary arrest in Turkey.” This followed the detention of a German citizen by the Turkish authorities.

In remarks published on Friday in the German newspaper Bild, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble warned that if Turkey “does not stop these games, we will have to tell people: ‘You are travelling to Turkey at your own risk, we can no longer provide guarantees’.”

Read: Germany reviews Turkey’s arms requests as crisis deepens

Speaking in Istanbul, reported Anadolu, President Erdogan’s response was robust. “I strongly condemn the German economy minister’s baseless […] message aimed at frightening companies investing in my country.”

He noted that Turkey is committed to protecting German companies in Turkey as it has done in the past and would do so in the future. “Their guarantee is us and their assurance is us,” he said. “Our country’s doors and nation’s hearts are open to German companies to the end.”

According to Anadolu, Erdogan added that the German government “hides terrorists” and “should first account for this.”

Read: ‘You belong here,’ Germany tells Turks as row with Ankara rages

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