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Latest update : 2017-07-06

EU criticism of Turkey 'unfair', Erdogan tells FRANCE 24

© FRANCE 24 screen grab

In an exclusive interview with France 24, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Germany for not allowing him to address the Turkish community there and preventing him from bringing his bodyguards to the upcoming G20 meeting in Hamburg.

The Turkish leader told France 24’s THE INTERVIEW that he has no regrets about comparing current-day Germany to the Nazi regime.

Erdogan also said that Europe has been unfair in its criticism of his nation and rejected claims that he is using last summer’s failed coup to carry out a witch hunt against dissenting voices. He told France 24 that he would allow the opposition ‘Justice March’ from Ankara to Istanbul to proceed if there is no violence.

On the Syria crisis, Erdogan warned that Turkey is ready to intervene militarily in the north to repel Syrian Kurdish forces there, forces armed and supported by the US but seen as a terrorist organisation by Turkey. A de-escalation zone could soon be established by Turkish and Russian troops in the region, he said.

Erdogan supported his allies in Qatar, saying that the demands made on the small Gulf nation were unacceptable, but he remained open to the possibility of shuttering the Turkish military base there if Qatari authorities were to make such a request.

An upcoming independence referendum for Iraqi Kurdistan would imperil the territorial integrity of Iraq, Erdogan warned, saying that he opposes the September 25 plebiscite.

By Marc PERELMAN

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