Germany welcomes Erdoğan, foreign rallies not allowed
BERLIN - ReutersThe German government on June 30 said it would welcome President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as an important guest during the meeting of G20 leading economies in Hamburg from July 7 to 8, despite Berlin’s fresh decision to bar other public events by Erdoğan.
Spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters he had no information indicating that Erdoğan would not attend the G20 summit, and said Germany looked forward to his participation.
“I’d like to emphasize for the German government that President Erdoğan is an important guest for us and we welcome his participation in the G20 summit,” Seibert said.
Meanwhile, German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said all embassies were informed on June 30 that they will have to apply for permission to stage political rallies addressing their citizens in Germany.
Schaefer said permission will automatically be denied if the country in question is scheduled to hold an election within three months of the rally.
European Union members will be exempt from the rule.
Schaefer told reporters in Berlin that the move was the result of the “experience of recent months,” citing the dispute with Ankara.
Ties between Turkey and Germany have once again become stained ahead of Erdoğan’s visit to the country for the G-20 Summit, after remarks from both the German government and the German opposition.
Although Erdoğan’s address to the Turkish community in Germany during his visit is “not on his official schedule yet,” German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel’s statement that such a gathering would “not be a good idea” raised the tension between both countries. Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) leader Martin Schulz also said he “did not want Erdoğan to hold big rallies” in Germany.
German politicians’ statements over President Erdoğan’s potential rally in the country were unacceptable, Turkish Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said on June 29, describing them as “provocative and malevolent.”
“The fact that those who are attempting to give Turkey a lesson in terms of democracy, human rights and freedoms in every opportunity, trying to prevent our president’s meeting with our citizens while they are taking terror organizations, coup plotters and the outlawed under their wings is the most concrete indicator of double standards reigning in Europe,” Kalın said in a statement.