Turkish official warns German leaders on fuelling racism

A top Turkish official has taken to social media to criticize comments on Turkey by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her opponent during a televised pre-election debate.

Ibrahim Kalin, the spokesman to the Turkish presidency, tweeted Monday that Merkel and Martin Schulz were attacking Turkey and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a diversion from more urgent problems, such as a surge in discrimination.

Kalin said Europe's attitude toward Turkey served to create an "other" and populism in German politics would fuel discrimination and racism.

In Sunday's debate, Schulz said he would end talks on Turkey joining the European Union because of Erdogan's increasingly authoritarian policies. Merkel, who has previously expressed doubts about Turkey ever joining the EU, said Turkey "is departing from all democratic practices at breakneck speed."