Turkish FM again condemns rally bans in parts of Europe

Randall Craig
March 19, 2017

Mr Sofuoglu said he had talked to police after receiving messages accusing him of being a "terrorist" because of his criticism of Mr Erdogan and of a coming referendum to expand the powers of the Turkish presidency.

Despite all the tensions, Erdogan isn't threatening to cut off ties with Germany, home to 3 million Turkish immigrants.

President Erdogan has launched a series of attacks on German authorities after they cancelled rallies aimed at courting an estimated 1.5 million ethnic Turkish voters in Germany before an upcoming referendum. Yucel has written articles critical of the Turkish government, which has a record of cracking down on press freedoms.

The Netherlands followed suit, with Prime Minister Mark Rutte stating in a Dutch-language Facebook post that "the Dutch public space is not the place to conduct another country's political campaign".

The Dutch government is investigating whether it can halt a rally being planned for later in the week at which Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is reportedly due to speak.

Austria had already banned pro-Erdogan rallies, with their chancellor, Christian Kern, saying there should be an EU-wide ban.

"A common European Union effort to end this kind of campaigning would be a sensible thing to do". As Al-Monitor writers Ali Bayramoglu and Mustafa Sonmez have pointed out, Turkey's conservative voters are anxious about the image of "one man" rule under Erdogan through the referendum, while populist economic measures from the urban poor might backfire.

He also said the European Union should investigate to ensure that funds paid to Turkey to pave the way for its accession to the EU were achieving their intended objective.

"We can't continue negotiating about membership with a country that has been distancing itself from democratic norms and rule-of-law principles for years".

A referendum vote that could increase the powers of Turkey's president is threatening to cause a diplomatic row with Germany.

Critics have accused Mrs Merkel of failing to stand up to Mr Erdogan for fear of endangering the migrant deal with Turkey, and she is under growing pressure over the issue.

"We don't want to see the Nazi world anymore".

"If I want to, I will come to Germany. If you don't let me in or if you don't let me speak, I will make the whole world rise up!"

"I thought it's been a long time since Germany left (Nazi practices)".

The Daily Sabbah, a pro-Erdogan newspaper, stated Germany was "best known for orchestrating the Holocaust", and was quashing investigations into arson attacks on mosques.

German response to the jibes has been fairly muted.

In Brussels, German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel said he was anxious to "bring an overheated debate into calmer waters" on Wednesday, when he meets with his Turkish colleague, Mevl├╝t Cavusoglu, in Berlin.

German-Turkish relationships have been tense since last summer's aborted coup in Turkey and Mr. Erdogan's ensuing crackdown on opposition and media.

The cancellations of the rallies in Germany came as a German-Turkish journalist was detained in Turkey, accused of being a member of the outlawed Kurdish militant group PKK.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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