Germany’s biggest-selling daily Bild on Wednesday lashed out at Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, branding him persona non grata and accusing him of “endangering Europe’s stability through his lust for power”.
“Bild tells the truth to Erdogan’s face — you are not a democrat! You are hurting your country! You are not welcome here!,” the tabloid-style newspaper said on its front page.
The outburst accompanied with an article headlined “the little man from the Bosphorus” came as Ankara is locked with several European nations, including Germany, in a bitter row over Turkish ministers’ plans to hold rallies abroad.
Ankara had reacted with fury after several German towns blocked Turkish politicians from holding rallies in Germany ahead of a crucial referendum that could vastly expand Erdogan’s powers.
With eligible voters numbering some 1.4 million in Germany alone, Erdogan’s government is eager to tap the diaspora vote in the April 16 poll.
Erdogan has accused Germany of “Nazi practices” for blocking his ministers from speaking.
Turkey has also suspended top-level ties with The Netherlands, and has shut out the Dutch ambassador to Ankara until The Hague meets its conditions over the rallies.
German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said Ankara was playing the role of the victim with its broadsides against NATO allies, as it seeks to galvanize support ahead of the referendum.