Akşener reminds justice minister how she was prevented from speaking

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A former candidate for leadership of the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Meral Akşener, was forced to address party members in the dark when a hotel in Çanakkale cut the power in an attempt to prevent the dissident politician from speaking.

Meral Akşener, previously a candidate for chairmanship of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), has reminded Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ how a program of hers was cancelled in Yalova and how the electricity at a hotel in Çanakkale was cut during an event she was hosting.

Making reference to a German decision canceling a program in which Bozdağ was to participate and make a speech on Thursday, Akşener said in a Twitter message: “Remember how the electricity was cut in Çanakkale and how the program in Yalova was cancelled in order to prevent us from speaking.”

A planned program that Akşener was to host in Yalova province on Dec. 17, 2016 was cancelled by the governor. At another of Akşener’s events, on Feb. 11, at a hotel in Çanakkale, the hotel administration cut the electricity in the salon, which was then raided by the police.

In a similar development on Thursday, No Party (Hayır Partisi) founder Tuna Bekleviç announced that party members were not allowed to speak in Yozgat, the hometown of Justice Minister 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 the German decision.

“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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