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Merkel: Germany must not let Turkey ‘grow more distant’

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says her country wants to patch up frayed ties with Turkey, but without compromising its democratic principles or accepting “Nazi” jibes from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“As difficult as everything is at the moment, as unacceptable as some things are, it can’t be in our security and geopolitical interest that Turkey, a NATO partner after all, grows even more distant from us,” she tells parliament.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, talks through an interpreter to Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, during the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul on May 23, 2016. (Ozan Kose/Pool Photo via AP)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, talks through an interpreter to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, during the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul on May 23, 2016. (Ozan Kose/Pool Photo via AP)

German and Turkish politicians have feuded for the past week after local German authorities cancelled several campaign events by Turkish ministers in support of an April referendum on creating an executive presidency in Turkey. Erdogan has angrily compared such actions to “Nazi practices,” causing outrage in Berlin.

–AFP

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