Erdogan slams German rebukes over election 'interference'

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German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel hit out Friday against "interference" by Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Germany's elections, after the Turkish leader urged Turks living overseas not to vote for parties of the ruling coalition.

There are an estimated three million Turkish-origin people living in Germany. A majority of them backed Mr Erdogan in an April referendum.

"The Christian Democrats, SPD [Social Democrats], the Green Party are all enemies of Turkey", he said in a message after Friday prayers.

He has lashed out at Germany before. Ties between North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies Turkey and the United States have been strained by Washington's support for Kurdish YPG fighters leading the assault on ISIS in the Syrian city of Raqqa. That refusal, he said, was "Nazi-style" behaviour.

Meanwhile, Turkey has accused Germany of protecting suspects who allegedly played a role in the failed coup attempt a year ago as well as supporting US-based cleric, Fethullah Gulen who Turkey claims is responsible for the events.

Adil Oksuz, a civilian alleged supporter of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, has been missing since July 2016 after he was released from court following his arrest while trying to escape the Akinci air base on the night of the coup.

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"You need to support political parties there now which do not display enmity to Turkey".

"It is not important whether they are the first or the second party". The country is now ruled by a coalition government headed by Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union.

He accused the SPD and CDU of playing a game of "the more you beat up Turkey, the more votes you get" during the election campaign.

Akhanli was born in Turkey but emigrated to Germany in 1991 after spending years in Turkish prison following the 1984 military coup in the country.

"I call on them not to vote for those parties who have been engaged in such aggressive, disrespectful attitudes against Turkey, and I invite them to teach a lesson to those political parties at the ballot box", he said. The crackdown was followed by declaration of a state of emergency which is still in place, resulting in more than 50,000 people arrested and over 150,000 people sacked from public sector jobs.

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