Erdogan urges Turks not to back main German parties


President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged Turkish citizens living in Germany not to vote for "hostile" parties in the country's September general election.

Speaking to journalists in Istanbul on Friday, Erdogan said: I ask all my citizens not to support [major parties] including the Christian Democrats, the SPD or the Greens.

They all are enemies of Turkey.

He then called on Turkish people in Germany to back parties "not hostile to Turkey".

Erdogan also said Germany was chiefly responsible for recent tensions with Turkey. He accused Berlin of fighting with Turkey for domestic political reasons and pulling other European countries to its side.

There are an estimated three million Turkish-origin people living in Germany.

The country is currently ruled by a coalition government headed by Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union which has support from the Christian Social Union of Bavaria, and the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD).

Erdogan went on to accuse German parties of failing to compete with each other in a democratic way, suggesting they were using Turkey issues as a campaigning tactic.

Approximately one million Turkish expatriates eligible to vote will change the course of the situation, he added.

Erdogan's statement follows days of tension between Ankara and Berlin, particularly over comments by the German Chancellor appearing to rule out a renewal of a Customs Union deal between Turkey and the European Union.

On Wednesday, in an interview with young video bloggers, Merkel signaled that the EU would not enter into talks with Ankara on modernizing the Customs Union, due to recent political tensions.

Source: Anadolu Agency