German political magazine Stern called Recep Tayyip Erdoğan an “arsonist” on its Wednesday cover, a week after British newspaper the Economist came out with a cover page slamming the Turkish president.
“To remain in power, Erdoğan unscrupulously stirs up conflicts in his own country, in Syria and also in Germany,” reads the cover article on a recent election campaign appearance in Germany by an MP from Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which the German Foreign Ministry defined as hate speech.
“The Turkish President would like to use his influence on many well-meaning German Turks for his upcoming election campaign,” Stern Editor-in-Chief Gregor Peter Schmitz wrote. “He wants to remain a troublemaker and arsonist nationally and internationally.”
A furious Ömer Çelik, AKP Spokesman, said Western media was “systematically targeting” Erdoğan. “His peace-oriented foreign policy will continue to disturb them.”
AKP MP İbrahim Aydemir told reporters Stern’s cover was part of “anti-Turkey lobbies” that carefully followed the country’s upcoming elections.