German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas announced that his country will not allow Turkish politicians to carry out election campaign rallies, ahead of upcoming snap parliamentary and presidential elections that will be held on June 24, 2017, reports said Monday.
The Social Democrat (SPD) Party politician’s statement comes after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that he will address Turkish people living in Europe ahead of the elections, and just a few days after Austria and the Netherlands announced that they will prevent political rallies of Turkish politicians in their countries.
“Our attitude regarding the matter is clear. In the three-month period ahead of elections in a foreign country, politicians will not be authorized to carry out election campaigns in Germany,” Maas told reporters at a meeting as part of the G7 Summit being held in Toronto, Canada.
He noted that the German government brought in a series of legal arrangements prohibiting political rallies for foreign politicians after the April 2017 constitutional reform referendum.
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu is expected to discuss the issue with Maas at an upcoming meeting in New York, reports said.
The General Secretariat of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, also said that the election campaigns of Turkish political parties should not spread to Germany. Speaking to German Press Agency (DPA), Kramp-Karrenbauer stated that the struggle over the upcoming elections in Turkey should take place in Turkey, not in Germany. “We do not want Turkey’s domestic politics in our cities, making it harder to live together,” he added.
During the constitutional reform referendum campaign, Ankara sharply condemned such obstructions by European countries, comparing them to the practices of fascist regimes during World War II and also accused these governments of taking sides in Turkey’s referendum by favoring the “no” campaign. The “no” campaign meetings did not face any obstructions, as various German politicians and media outlets openly declared their support for the “no” camp.
Throughout the campaign, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) were criticized by European media outlets at an unprecedented rate, using derogatory rhetoric. This led to a bitter war of words between Turkish and German officials.