ISTANBUL, Turkey — A Turkish daily strongly supportive of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday portrayed German Chancellor Angela Merkel on its front cover as Adolf Hitler, accusing her of having a “Nazi mentality.”
The Yeni Akit daily, known for its hardline views on Turkish foreign policy, printed a photo-shopped picture of Merkel with a Hitler mustache, swastika armband and belt diagonally across her chest in the style of Nazi militia.
“We are very worried by this mentality,” it said.
Its front page came as European Union President Donald Tusk and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker were to meet Erdogan at the Bulgarian Black Sea resort of Varna in a bid to mend ties with Turkey and the EU.
Ankara has been infuriated by a statement from EU leaders condemning Turkey’s “illegal actions” towards Greece and Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea.
In particular, the EU lambasted Turkey over Ankara’s arrest of two Greek soldiers who strayed into Turkish territory.
Yeni Akit alleged that while Merkel had “protected” fugitives wanted by Turkey and remained silent on arson attacks against mosques in Germany, “she is worried on the issue of the Greek soldiers who were trying to spy on us.”
“It’s exasperating that Merkel, with her Nazi mentality, makes comments against Turkey at every moment,” it added.
This is not the first time that a Turkish newspaper has portrayed Merkel as the Nazi dictator who led the Third Reich, caused World War II and presided over the Holocaust.
Erdogan himself had accused Germany and other EU governments of showing the mentality of the Nazis for banning Turkish ministers from giving rallies in the run-up to an April referendum last year.
Then, the right-wing tabloid-style daily Gunes printed a picture of her in Nazi uniform along with the words in German: “#Frau Hitler” and called Merkel an “ugly aunt.”