Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has to learn his “limits” after he told Turkey’s leader to stop interfering in the upcoming Germany's elections.
“He knows no limits! Who are you to talk to the president of Turkey? Know your limits. He is trying to teach us a lesson… How long have you been in politics? How old are you?” said Erdogan on Saturday.
The Turkish president made the remarks after Gabriel slammed Erdogan for his comments urging ethnic Turks in Germany to vote against Chancellor Angela Merkel in the county’s September 24 legislative elections.
"That is an unprecedented act of interference in the sovereignty of our country," said Gabriel on Friday.
"Erdogan's interference in Germany's electoral campaign shows that he wants to incite people in Germany against each other," he added.
Erdogan meanwhile repeated his call on Turks eligible to vote in the German elections not to vote for Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), their coalition partner the Social Democratic Party (SPD) or the Greens.
“Teach them (the three parties) a lesson in the German elections. They are waging a campaign against Turkey. Vote for those who don’t have enmity towards Turkey,” he said.
“It’s not important for us whether Germany opens its doors to us or not. We have enough doors,” he added.
“We will go to countries that have opened their doors and we will open our doors to them,” he stressed.
Relations between Turkey and Germany began to deteriorate after a failed coup in Turkey in 2016. Germany has repeatedly criticized Ankara's crackdown on the suspects of involvement in the coup, saying the Turkish government has acted beyond the rule of law
Turkey defends the crackdown and insists that the government in Berlin has failed to properly condemn the coup.
Ankara also accuses Berlin of giving sanctuary to outlawed Kurdish militants and allowing their sympathizers to stage anti-Turkey rallies across Germany.