By Kemal Karadag and Hande Ilbeyi Canca
ISPARTA, Turkey (AA) - Domestic politics are at the heart of the current poor state of relations between Turkey and some European countries, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday.
Ties between Turkey and Germany have soured in recent months, reaching a nadir last month when German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Berlin would no longer encourage or guarantee investment in Turkey.
“We know that the most of the criticism of European countries for our country is related to their domestic politics,” Erdogan said at the opening of a fruit juice factory in Isparta, southwest Turkey,
Referring to the Netherlands’ block on Turkish ministerial speeches in the run-up to April’s constitutional referendum in Turkey, the president said: “Now we see that Germany is using the same tactics. I believe that they will return to normal after the elections.”
Germany will hold a federal election of Bundestag lawmakers on Sept. 24.
A series of diplomatic incidents has included German complaints about the arrest of its nationals on terrorism charges, the lack of access for lawmakers to German troops at Incirlik air base in southern Turkey and claims that Turkey has carried out espionage in Germany.
Ankara has accused Germany of harbouring terrorists and criticized the government for barring Turkish politicians from addressing crowds ahead of the referendum.
On Tuesday, NATO brokered a deal to enable German lawmakers to visit their troops based at an air base near Konya, central Turkey.
It followed the withdrawal of German jets from Incirlik, where they had been tasked to conduct surveillance missions against Daesh in Syria, after lawmakers were denied permission to visit.