Turkey’s Foreign Ministry summoned Germany’s ambassador to Ankara on Tuesday after the vice president of the Bundestag compared Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to a “sewage rat”.
“We condemn in the strongest terms the insulting statements made by Mr. Wolfgang Kubicki, the Deputy Speaker of the German Federal Parliament, about our president,” the Turkish ministry said in a statement, adding that the “indecent” remarks demonstrated “Kubicki’s attitude”. political and moral level and reveal its banality.
Kubicki was campaigning for his Liberal Democratic Party, a junior member of Germany’s ruling coalition, in Lower Saxony on Monday when he told supporters that Germany should not “just open its arms again” to a potential new wave of refugees arriving in the country, which he said could happen because of “Erdoğan, the sewer rat”.
Kubicki later told Reuters he made the remarks in reference to the growing number of undocumented migrants moving from Turkey along the so-called Balkan route to Germany, while adding that “a rat sewer is a small, cute, but at the same time smart and cunning”. creature that also appears in children’s stories”, such as in the movie “Ratatouille”.
At the same event on Monday, Kubicki also rejected calls from other members of his party for Germany to make prompt and full arms deliveries to Ukraine, asking, “When will the time come when Putin sees us like a war party?”
Kubicki is known for his provocative statements and for taking what is seen as a softer stance on Russia. Last month he called for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany to be reactivated after Berlin shut it down due to the invasion of Ukraine, drawing heavy criticism within his own party.
Insulting the president is a criminal offense in Turkey and Ankara has a history of reacting strongly to negative comments about its president from abroad: In 2016, Ankara filed two legal complaints against German comedian Jan Böhmermann, after he read a poem rude on his TV show. insulting Erdoğan.