President Tayyip Erdoğan’s address to the Turkish community in Germany during his visit to country for the G-20 Summit on July 7-8 is “not on his official schedule yet,” Turkish presidential sources told the Hürriyet Daily News
on June 29.
The information was provided upon questions from HDN following the recent statement by German
Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, in which he said he had received an application about such a gathering but warned that it would “not be a good idea,” given the already existing tension between the two countries. Earlier, Social Democratic Party (SPD) leader Martin Schulz had said he “did not want” Erdoğan to “hold big rallies” in Germany, citing the fact that the Turkish president “jails opposition politicians and journalists.”
“We are following the statements from Germany carefully,” said a presidential source, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Our president’s Germany schedule has still not yet been completed and so far there is no item such as a public address on his schedule. It is true that such an invitation has been made, but there isn’t any fixed program other than the president’s contacts within the framework of the G20 summit.”
Sources said the application to the German
authorities for the address was not made by the Turkish presidency. They also underlined that a possible address to the Turkish community in Germany was not high and important on their agenda. They speculated that it had been inflated in Germany, possibly out of domestic political considerations.
Presidency and Foreign Ministry sources both said no official application to the German
authorities had been made, unlike Gabriel had claimed, adding that the application may have been made by certain Turkish NGOs.
Before Turkey’s April 16 referendum, applications from Erdoğan and ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Parti) ministers who wanted to campaign in European countries were rejected, causing extra tension with Germany and the Netherlands in particular. EU politicians had made clear that they were annoyed with Erdoğan’s remarks likening them to Nazis and fascists.
That issue was covered during the Turkish president’s meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk during their May 25 meeting in Brussels.
Meanwhile, Germany also asked Turkey last week not to include the names of 12 bodyguards from the president’s security team who face arrest warrants in the U.S. after the brawl between them and protesters during Erdoğan’s visit to Washington on May 16.