Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at the German government on Saturday for criticising his call to ethnic Turks to vote against Germany's two ruling parties in September elections, warning the foreign minister to "know your limits".

The latest spat between Ankara and Berlin risks propelling a months-long crisis in ties between two NATO allies with deep historic links to a new level ahead of Germany's general election on September 24.

Erdogan had a day earlier caused consternation in Berlin by urging ethnic Turks in Germany to vote against both parties in Chancellor Angela Merkel's governing coalition.

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel had bitterly condemned Erdogan's comments as an "unprecedented act of interference" in Germany's sovereignty.

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