‘Hayır’ Party not allowed to speak in Minister Bozdağ’s hometown

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Tuna Bekleviç (L) and Bekir Bozdağ

No Party (Hayır Partisi) founder Tuna Bekleviç has announced that party members were not allowed to speak in Yozgat, the hometown of Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ.

“We were not allowed to make a statement in Yozgat today. We will not say what goes around comes around,” said Bekleviç in a Twitter message, in reference to a German decision canceling a program in which Bozdağ was to participate and make a speech on Thursday.

“Nevertheless, we do say freedom of expression and democracy. It was wrong that the speech of a minister from Yozgat was prohibited,” said Bekleviç.

“It is not acceptable that the German authorities, who make speeches about human rights, democracy, the rule of law and freedom of expression, and who accuse all except themselves of being lacking on these issues, cannot tolerate a meeting of the Turkish community,” said Bozdağ on Thursday in reaction to the German decision, adding that he had cancelled a meeting with his German counterpart, also scheduled for Thursday.

Gaggenau, a small town in Germany, on Thursday cancelled a speech by Bozdağ set for that evening amid outrage over the arrest in Turkey of Turkish-German reporter Deniz Yücel on charges of terrorism.

Deutsche Welle reported that the town of Gaggenau withdrew its permission for Bozdağ’s speech to Turks aiming to campaign for an April 16 referendum that will bring an executive presidency to Turkey.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned the German ambassador to Ankara on Thursday to protest the cancellation of Bozdağ’s program in Germany, Cumhuriyet reported.

The town cited a lack of space for the rally as reactions in Germany against Yücel’s recent arrest mount.

Over 3 million people of Turkish descent live in Germany. Nearly 1.4 million of them are eligible to vote in Turkish elections and referenda.

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