President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has strongly slammed Germany’s threats to impose economic sanctions on Turkey amid ongoing tension in ties, saying Germany will be the one to pay the price in the event that it imposes an embargo.
“You have to take into account a bigger price [that you have to pay] if you think you can frighten Turkey with your threats of embargo,” Erdoğan told ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmakers at a weekly meeting in parliament on July 25.
We see that the firms of this country are smarter, more visionary, more prudent than its politicians, Erdoğan said, noting that German investments in Turkey were uninterrupted despite German politicians’ threat.
Germany is revealing its real intentions through threats over the economy as the ministers of the country warn Turkey of avoiding investments, the president said.
The president said the Turkish government has never rebuffed foreign investments in Turkey, adding there were German companies operating in the country for more than a century.
Erdoğan’s remarks followed statements from Berlin that suggested imposing some economic sanctions and issuing travel warnings for German tourists that visiting the country will be at their own risk.
Germany on July 20 told its citizens to exercise caution if traveling to Turkey and threatened measures that could hinder German investment there, as its impatience grew with Ankara after the detention of rights activists.
Turkey this month detained several human rights activists, including a German and the local head of rights group Amnesty International, as part of the widespread crackdown that followed last year’s failed coup.
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has said Berlin’s policies toward Turkey should go in a “new direction” and noted he could not advise companies to invest in a country without legal certainty.
Turkish authorities had reportedly handed Berlin a list of almost 700 German companies several weeks ago, including Daimler and BASF, who they had accused of having links to the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, who is believed to have orchestrated last July’s failed coup.
The Turkish government has later withdrawn its inquiry suggesting a miscommunication.
Erdoğan said, despite the correction, German politicians were still escalating the tension between Ankara and Berlin.
He indirectly blamed Germany for conducting “bloody massacres” in the First and Second World Wars.
“Those who have not avoided bloodshed have no right to criticize us,” the president said, in reference to the detention of foreign citizens in Turkey.
Foreign spies are “swarming” Turkey and the Turkish government will “walk all over” them when the time comes, Erdoğan stated.