TALLINN : Turkey's European Union affairs minister on Friday accused Germany of trying to use the EU as a "tool" in its festering row with Ankara and called for an end to the "vicious cycle" of acrimony between the two sides.

Omer Celik also welcomed the diplomatic rebuff offered by a number of the bloc's foreign ministers to German Chancellor Angela Merkel's call for Turkey's EU membership talks to be terminated.

The EU has voiced major concerns about Turkey's crackdown in the wake of last year's failed coup, with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warning that Ankara was "withdrawing from Europe by giant steps".

Ties with Germany have become particularly strained and during an election debate on Sunday Merkel said she would ask the EU to end Turkey's accession talks.

Celik said Germany risked tarnishing the EU's reputation by dragging it into a row between individual countries.

"Those who are at the moment coming up with fresh arguments (against Turkey joining) are actually trying to use the EU in order to tackle bilateral problems," Celik told reporters at a gathering of EU foreign ministers in Tallinn.

"The EU should not be used as a tool to counter the bilateral problems of any of the countries."

Merkel's remarks on Sunday drew a furious response from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who compared them to "Nazism".

But a number of EU ministers urged a more measured response than Merkel suggested, warning against rushing into hasty action against Turkey, which is an important member of NATO and a key partner for Europe in tackling the migrant crisis.

Celik said the ministers' caution showed there was no "environment" to stop the negotiations, which have made only slow progress since they began in 2005.

Relations between Ankara and Berlin deteriorated sharply after the coup attempt, which was followed by the crackdown in Turkey during which over 50,000 people have been arrested, including German citizens.

Angry rhetoric has flown in both directions and Erdogan has called on ethnic Turks in Germany not to vote for Merkel's party in national elections later this month.

Celik said it was time to move on from the recriminations.

"I can tell you we are definitely uncomfortable in terms of the arguments put forward by German politicians. They cannot spend a day without having some kind of remarks to our president and politicians," he said.

"I think this is a vicious cycle that we need to break and we should definitely focus on the future."