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Turkish FM to meet with German counterpart on March 8

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşuğlu and his German counterpart, Sigmar Gabriel, decided during a phone call on Friday to meet on March 8 over a crisis that erupted after German authorities refused to allow Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ to hold a campaign rally in a German town, T24 reported on Friday.

According to the report, the meeting of the two foreign ministers will take place in Germany.

The small German town of Gaggenau 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.

On Thursday the Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned Martin Erdmann, the German ambassador to Ankara, to protest the cancellation of Bozdağ’s program.

Strongly criticizing Berlin, Çavuşoğlu said earlier on Friday that Turkey would retaliate against the German decision.

Describing the decision as a systematic move by the “German deep state,” Çavuşoğlu said: “You have to see us as an equal. Turkey is not a country under your command. You are not Turkey’s boss. It is not the case that you are first class and Turkey second. We do not treat you like that. You have to treat Turkey as an equal.”

In a statement on Friday, the German Foreign Ministry said the authority to allow rallies lies with local administrations and that the federal government plays no role in such matters.

Minister Bozdağ reacted against the decision by cancelling a meeting with his German counterpart, also scheduled for Thursday.

“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,” added Bozdağ.

Burhan Kuzu, an advisor to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and a Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy, has said construction of a third airport in İstanbul has driven Germany crazy because the country sees Turkey as a rival.

“When construction started on the third airport [in İstanbul], they [Germany] just went crazy because Frankfurt Airport is about to be closed down. All this has made Germany uncomfortable, and this is the real reason [behind Germany’s refusal to allow ministers to hold rallies],” Kuzu said to Sputnik.

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