German minister steps back from anti-Erdogan tweet 

Germany’s Agriculture Minister says her controversial comments were in personal capacity, Turkish diplomatic sources say

German minister steps back from anti-Erdogan tweet 

World Bulletin / News Desk

A German minister took a step back from a controversial tweet against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying it was her “personal opinion,” according to Turkish diplomatic sources on Thursday.

On Monday, Germany’s Agriculture Minister Julia Klockner posted a tweet in which she leveled heavy accusations against Erdogan and criticized German-Turkish footballer Mesut Ozil for meeting him.

According to the sources, Klockner contacted Turkish officials through her executive assistant and said her tweet was personal and does not have any official character. 

Klockner said she respects that Erdogan is a president of a government elected by the people and stressed importance of improving bilateral relations with Turkey, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions to speaking with the media. 

On Wednesday, Germany distanced itself from Klockner’s controversial comments. 

Berlin considers Turkey an important partner and wants to maintain a relation based on trust, a government spokesman said.

Agriculture Ministry’s spokeswoman Friederike Lenz told a news conference that the tweet was Klockner’s “personal opinion”, and declined to make any further comment. 

Government’s deputy spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer also distanced herself from Klockner’s comments, and underlined the importance of ties between Germany and Turkey. 

“Turkey is a close and important partner for us, and we would like to have good relations with Turkey,” she said. 

Germany’s star player Mesut Ozil, who has Turkish origins, quitted national team on Sunday, citing discrimination and racist propaganda he faced in recent months. 

Political relations between Ankara and Berlin suffered several setbacks in recent years, but both sides took steps in the recent month towards normalization of ties. 

Erdogan is expected to pay an official visit to Germany in autumn.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Temmuz 2018, 09:16