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Germany bans Turkish ministers from meeting citizens

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The German authorities in the southern German town of Gaggenau controversially withdrew permission on Thursday for an event where Turkey's Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ would have met with Turkish citizens in a rally. reports that, Bozdağ was scheduled to meet the Turkish community in Gaggeneau and deliver a speech, where he was expected to address the crowd about the upcoming referendum on April 16 for the proposed constitutional amendments in Turkey. An event that was organized by the Union of European Turkish Democrats (UETD).

In a statement released by the city of Gaggenau, it was stated that the event was canceled due to security-related concerns and the limited capacity of the hall where the event would have been held. Gaggenau Mayor Michael Pfeiffer said the decision was not a political one.

Meanwhile late Thursday, according to the German Press Agency (DPA), an official from the city of Cologne said an event on March 5, where Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci would be holding a rally through the UETD, has also been canceled. "There was no agreement for March 5, and there will not be," the official reportedly told the DPA.

German politicians have recently voiced opposition against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) officials holding rallies in Germany.

Germany's opposition left party criticized the planned appearance on Thursday of Turkey's justice minister at a political rally in southwest Germany, and called on the government to deny him entry into the country. While the German government has indicated that it has no plans to prevent Turkish officials from speaking to the 1.4 million Turkish voters in Germany, the issue of the AK Party politicians holding rallies in Germany has been a hot issue between the countries' governments.

The registered 2.3 million Turkish voters living abroad will be able to cast their votes in 57 countries at Turkey's 119 foreign missions and 32 customs stations. With an estimated 3 million people, the largest Turkish community abroad is based in Germany.

2017.03.02 / 19:29
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