Recep Tayyip Erdogan was at one time known for articulating a foreign policy of “zero problems with our neighbors.” If that always seemed perhaps overly ambitious given the unpredictability of international affairs, some of Turkey’s recent problems originate with Erdogan’s own mouth. These days, Turkey’s diplomacy is perhaps better known for how faithfully its leader’s rhetoric conforms to Godwin’s law.
Over the past few years, the Turkish president has gotten into highly personal foreign-policy disputes with his foes and friends alike, describing the events that followed the toppling of the Morsi regime in Egypt as “state terrorism;” likening Israel’s operations in Gaza to Hitler’s “barbarism;” accusing the U.S. of supporting terrorists; and, most recently, describing the Netherlands and Germany as “Nazis” for their barring of Turkish political campaigning on their soil.
Here is a list of countries whose leaders Erdogan has has likened to Nazis—along with other choice epithets the Turkish leader favors.
The insult: “Your practices are not different from the Nazi practices of the past.”
The provocation: Erdogan’s remarks in Istanbul on March 5 followed Germany’s decision, citing security concerns, to block Turkish political rallies on its soil ahead of a referendum next month in Turkey that, if it goes the government’s way, would expand Erdogan’s power. Turks in Europe are a key part of Erdogan’s constituency—and though overseas campaigning is illegal under Turkish law most political parties in the country flout this rule. More than 1 million Turks in Germany alone are eligible to vote in the Turkish referendum.