Turkey’s president hit out the German authorities on Wednesday over an incident involving a Turkish lawmaker at a German airport earlier this week. Speaking at a meeting with village heads, mukhtars, on Wednesday, Erdogan said Turkey could retaliate.
Erdogan’s remarks came after the deputy speaker of the Turkish parliament, Ayse Nur Bahcekapili, was stopped by police at Cologne airport in Germany on Monday.
Bahcekapili told Anadolu Agency that after her bag containing her passport went missing, the Turkish Embassy provided her with a temporary travel document.
However, police officers at the airport did not accept the temporary passport, made her wait and attempted to detain her, suspicious that the Justice and Development (AK) Party lawmaker had entered the country illegally
“It was impolite in terms of my country… I am a lawmaker of this country [Turkey]. If we show respect and courtesy to German or foreign parliamentarians, we have a natural right to expect respect and courtesy in the same way,” Bahcekapili said.
Speaking on Wednesday, Erdogan angrily lashed out at the German authorities:
“You allow terrorists and welcome them, put them up, but you make our deputy parliament speaker and delegation wait at the gate for hours.”
“Don’t we have to retaliate now? Then you call Erdogan ‘dictator’,” the president added.
“If you behave towards my deputy parliament speaker, a female lawmaker, like this, if your police officer does this, then I need to retaliate to it in the same way,” Erdogan said.
Later in the day, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry summoned German’s Ambassador Martin Erdmann over the incident, diplomatic sources said.
Erdogan also said Turkey’s economy is being “attacked” at critical times, such as when Turkish operations in Syria or Iraq are making gains or when a change to a presidential system is up for debate.
“They directed this economic weapon to us at a time … when Turkey is about to make significant decisions about the European Union,” he added.
Praising Turks’ response to his urging that they use the Turkish lira to boost its value, Erdogan said the rise of foreign exchange against the lira lacked any “tangible, serious financial reason.”
Last Friday the president called on Turkish citizens to convert their foreign exchange savings into Turkish liras or gold.