Turkish Foreign Ministry on Thursday condemned the "unacceptable political remarks" of some German figures regarding President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier this week.
The comments were made ahead of the Turkish leader’s planned visit to Germany next week to attend a G20 summit in Hamburg. Ambassador Huseyin Muftuoglu, a ministry spokesman, described the comments as “regretful”.
Former European Parliament President Martin Schulz said on Wednesday he did not want the Turkish leader to hold large-scale events in Germany, according to reports in local media.
Germany has a large Turkish community of over three million people.
Schulz, now leader of Germany's Social Democratic Party, also accused the Turkish president of jailing "opposition politicians and journalists".
Muftuoglu said any move "towards imposing restrictions on freedom of assembly and expression” would reveal “the double standard of those who aim to lecture … others”.
This latest intervention has added to recent tensions between Berlin and Ankara, particularly after Germany said it did not expect a number of bodyguards from Erdogan's security detail to be present during the G20 summit.
The U.S. has issued arrest warrants for 16 people, including 12 of the Turkish president's bodyguards, over an incident in May outside Turkey's Washington D.C. embassy when several people were injured during a brawl; Erdogan was on an official visit to the U.S. at the time of the incident.
Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin also slammed the German politicians for their remarks on Erdogan, terming it as "a concrete evidence of double standards prevailing in Europe".
In a written statement, Kalin said Erdogan was following a constructive attitude despite all the negativity towards Turkey.
"Any attempt to prevent the president [Erdogan] from meeting our citizens living abroad for trivial reasons would not be compatible with ties of friendship and alliance," he added.
Turkey’s Minister for EU Affairs Omer Celik described Schulz’s statements as an application of “double standards”.
“These politicians’ statements regarding our president’s meeting with our citizens in Germany are unacceptable,” he tweeted.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.