German government 'does not expect President Erdoğan’s bodyguards at G-20'
HAMBURGThe German government has said it does not expect to see Turkish security agents accused of attacking protesters in Washington during President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to the upcoming G-20 summit in Hamburg, which will be held on July 7 and July 8.
The melee outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence during Erdoğan’s visit to the United States in May overshadowed the trip and further strained U.S.-Turkish relations.
Eleven people were hurt during the brawl. The U.S. authorities subsequently issued arrest warrants for 16 people, including 12 of Erdoğan’s bodyguards, over the incident.
German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said on June 26 that 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 G-20 summit.”
Schaefer would not confirm or deny an unsourced report in the Welt am Sonntag newspaper that his ministry made clear to Turkey the bodyguards would not be welcome.
According to the June 25 report by the daily, the German Foreign Ministry’s warnings were repeated to Bundestag members in closed-door meetings.
The German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) said earlier that foreign powers “do not hold sovereign powers” while on official visits, saying “foreign colleagues only have the right to self-defense,” the daily reported.
“On our streets, only the Hamburg police have a say - and no one else. This includes foreign security forces,” Hamburg Senator Andy Grote told Die Welt.
According to a separate report in the local daily Hamburger Abendblatt, the Turkish Embassy sent the German Foreign Ministry a list of 50 people who were to accompany Erdoğan to Hamburg. The list reportedly included several agents who were involved in the brawl in Washington.
More than 10,000 left-wing extremists are expected to descend on Hamburg to protest the G-20 Summit, Deutsche Welle reported.
President Erdoğan had slammed the U.S. decision to issue arrest warrants for his bodyguards and the Foreign Ministry had summoned U.S. Ambassador to Ankara John Bass over the incident.
“They have issued arrest warrants for 12 of my bodyguards. What kind of law is this? If my bodyguards cannot protect me then why am I bringing them to America with me?” Erdoğan said, complaining that the U.S. police failed to intervene in the brawl.
He also stated that the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and members of the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ) were united in protest against him at a short distance of 40-50 meters from where he was with his bodyguards.
“The U.S. police did nothing. Can you imagine what the response would have been if a similar incident had taken place in Turkey?” Erdoğan said, vowing that Ankara would “continue its political and legal struggle” regarding the incident.
Relations between Ankara and Berlin have already been soured over a number of diplomatic issues between the two countries, including the withdrawal of German troops from the İncirlik air base and relatedly Germany’s granting asylum to soldiers after Turkey’s failed July 2016 coup attempt.