Erdoğan events in Germany are ‘inappropriate’ outside G20: German FM
KRASNODAR/BERLINThe German government believes it would be “inappropriate” for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to make public appearances in Germany outside the G20 summit given current tensions between the two NATO allies, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on June 29.
Gabriel said Berlin had received a request for Erdoğan to be able to address members of the three-million-strong Turkish diaspora in the EU country.
"I explained weeks ago to my Turkish colleagues that we don't think that would be a good idea," Gabriel said during a Russia visit, pointing at stretched police resources around the G20.
"I also said quite frankly that such an appearance would not be appropriate given the current adversarial situation with Turkey," he added, stressing that Erdoğan would however be "received with honors" at the summit.
He said the German government did not want Turkish citizens and dual nationals living in Germany to be unsettled.
The German foreign minister’s remarks follow a call from Martin Schulz, the leader of Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) and candidate for chancellor, for a ban on a potential major event by Erdoğan in Germany.
“Foreign politicians who trample on our values at home must not be allowed a stage for speeches in Germany. I don’t want Mr. Erdoğan, who jails opposition politicians and journalists in Turkey, to hold large-scale events in Germany,” Schulz told German daily Bild on June 28.
He also said rallies by the president should be banned as a matter of principle, not because of any other external cause.
“It’s not about fire safety in the halls or the number of available parking places. It’s about Erdoğan not bringing internal political conflict in Turkey to Germany,” Schulz added.
He had previously said Germany must not let Turkish expats vote in any potential referendum on reinstating capital punishment in Turkey.
Meanwhile, Erdoğan is reported to be seeking a venue for a political rally in Dortmund on the eve of the G20 summit which will be held on July 8 and July 9, according to a report by the Deutsche Welle.
The German government had stated on June 26 that it does not expect to see Turkish security agents accused of attacking protesters in Washington during Erdogan’s visit to the country.
German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said he could “assume with a good conscience that these people who have been incriminated by the U.S. judicial authorities won’t set foot on German soil in the foreseeable future, including during the G20 summit.”
Relations between Ankara and Berlin have been soured over a number of diplomatic issues between the two countries, including the withdrawal of German troops from the İncirlik air base in southern Turkey and Germany’s granting of asylum to soldiers after Turkey’s failed July 2016 coup attempt.