Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s recent accusation of fascism against Israel is “absurd”, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Tuesday, just days before Erdoğan’s scheduled visit to Berlin for talks with Scholz and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
Scholz’s comment was made in response to Erdoğan’s statement on Friday in which he criticised Israel’s continued attacks on Gaza. “Israel has now become a country of baby killers, committing war crimes in front of the whole world. Western countries are just spectators, watching all the brutality from the sidelines,” Erdoğan said.
Chancellor Scholz countered that Israel is a democracy that upholds human rights and international law, saying, “So the accusations against Israel are absurd.”
Erdogan’s upcoming visit on Monday, his first since 2020, has been the subject of controversy, both over his characterisation of Hamas as “liberators fighting for their land” and Turkey’s attacks on Kurdish areas in Syria.
While Erdoğan accuses Israel of war crimes in its Gaza campaign, the Turkish government itself has been accused of war crimes for its relentless attacks on the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), targeting civilian infrastructure.
Erdoğan’s visit is not welcomed by the German Chancellor, nor the country’s Kurdish communities.