Germany’s Deputy Interior Minister Günter Krings did not mince his words about Turkey’s attempts to influence German domestic affairs. He said it “will not undermine” the elections, which are slated for September 24.
In an exclusive interview with Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, the deputy minister said: “Turks are ignoring” the president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Krings told DW on September 11 that Turkey’s attempts to tarnish Germany’s image by telling Turkish citizens they face a dangerous situation in the country are “just ridiculous”.
As reported by DW, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged ethnic Turks residing in Germany not to vote for the Anatolian nation’s “enemies,” including Angela Merkel‘s Christian Democratic Union (CDU).
Meanwhile, relations between Ankara and Berlin have taken a nosedive since Turkey launched a massive crackdown in the wake of a failed coup in 2016. Last week, the Turkish foreign ministry cautioned its citizens to take care in Germany during the election cycle.
“There are no Turkish journalists in German prisons, or other Turkish nationals that are imprisoned for political reasons or prosecuted by the German government,” Krings said.
“(But) we are very concerned that German journalists, for example, are sitting in Turkish prisons for no real reason, at least nothing convincing.”