Turkey accuses Germany of ‘democracy deficit’ over campaign ban
BERLIN – Agence France-Presse
Germany is showing a “democracy deficit” by denying Turkish politicians permission to campaign ahead of the June elections, the deputy chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) told a German newspaper on May 23.
The German government, like Austria and the Netherlands, has refused permission for Turkish election rallies to be held on its soil ahead of Turkish parliament and presidential elections on June 24.
“I think that our German friends have a deficit when it comes to democracy,” Hayati Yazıcı told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.
Out of three million Turkish immigrants living in Germany, “1.5 million of them have the right to vote” in Turkey, Yazıcı noted.
“Is it fair for Germany to curtail their right to inform themselves before they vote?” he added.
Berlin has said it applies the no campaigning rule to all other nations within three-month periods before they hold elections.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who heads the AKP, on May 20 addressed thousands of expatriate Turks in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo.
Ties between Ankara and a number of European countries were hit in 2017 ahead of the April 2017 referendum on shifting to an executive presidential system, with many Turkish politicians not permitted to hold pre-scheduled meetings. The Netherlands deported one Turkish minister on the grounds that she had not sought permission from the authorities, prompting Erdoğan to denounce “Nazi-like” tactics.