ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that tension with Europe was due to European domestic politics and relations with Berlin would improve after Germany’s parliamentary election in September.
Relations between Europe and Turkey, a NATO member and a candidate for European Union membership, have been strained by the crackdown that followed last year’s failed coup, with some European countries voicing alarm at the scale of the purges.
“Criticism from Europe is about their internal politics,” Erdogan said in a speech in the western city of Isparta that was broadcast live on television.
“France and Austria did this before, we see that Germany follows the same strategy. I believe that this situation will improve after elections,” he said, referring to the Sept. 24 polls where Chancellor Angela Merkel is running for a fourth term.
Reporting by Dirimcan Barut; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Alison Williams