Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan must stop likening the current German government to the Nazi regime, warned Chancellor Angela Merkel Monday amid a dispute about Turkish campaigning in support of constitutional reform.
"My statement that the Nazi comparisons from the Turkish side have to stop applies without ifs or buts," Merkel said during a press conference in the German city of Hanover alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
It was not the first time she made the demand, amid near daily verbal barrages from Erdogan.
The German chancellor referred to a warning from the Foreign Ministry that campaign events by foreign ministers could only take place if they comply with the constitution.
Turkish ministers are trying to campaign in Europe to build up expatriate support ahead of a constitutional referendum next month, which many believe will expand Erdogan's power.
Ulrike Demmer, a spokeswoman for Merkel's government, told journalists in Berlin earlier on Monday that Berlin would not respond to the accusation, but that it was monitoring the situation carefully.
It was the latest in a string of comments in which Erdogan likened the German and Dutch governments to the Nazis because of actions taken in those countries to block campaign by Turkish ministers.
Others members of Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) were outraged by the comment, with Cemile Giousouf - a German lawmaker of Turkish descent - calling for an apology.
"Many consider these outrageous hostilities embarrassing - they are damaging the reputation of German Turks and our coexistence," said Giousouf, who is responsible for integration.
"If Erdogan has any decency left, he will apologize to the chancellor," she said.