CHP presidential hopeful İnce visits neighboring countries despite Greek entrance ban
Muharrem İnce and CHP members near Turkey's border with Greece on May 31. (Photo: Doğan News Agency)
İnce, the CHP’s presidential candidate, was scheduled to meet Turkish voters in the northeastern Greek city of Komotini (Gümülcine in Turkish) and the Bulgarian city of Kardzhali (Kırcaali) on May 31.
He was accompanied by a group of CHP MPs and mayors, as well as journalists.
The Greek authorities reportedly allowed İnce to enter the country but barred those accompanying him.
“We waited for two hours for the problem to be solved. Greek border police did not allow İnce’s entourage or the journalists, as they said they were not informed about it beforehand,” said CNN Türk reporter Cansu Karadan.
“We were going there for a simple visit, not to do politics. But they did not let us enter,” said Erdin Bircan, a CHP deputy from the northwestern Turkish province of Edirne.
Election campaigning in EU cities where Turkish voters live has in recent years become a controversial issue.
Ahead of the April 2017 constitutional referendum, ministers travelled to countries with sizable Turkish communities, including the Netherlands and Germany, in order to campaign for the change. However, the authorities prevented them from campaigning there, citing security concerns.