BERLIN – Germany's Foreign Ministry has summoned the Turkish ambassador to hear a protest after Turkish minister accused Chancellor Angela Merkel of picking on Turkey for domestic political gain ahead of elections.
Merkel on Monday criticized the Turkish security forces' crackdown against street protests as "much too strong." The chancellor has long been skeptical of Turkey's ambitions to join the European Union; her coalition government supports continuing membership talks but this week blocked a decision to open a new chapter in negotiations.
Egemen Bagis, Turkey's minister in charge of EU affairs, said that if Merkel is looking for "internal political material" ahead of September elections "this should not be Turkey."
German Foreign Ministry spokesman Andreas Peschke said ambassador Huseyin Avni Karslioglu was summoned to the ministry Friday.