Turkish FM to Germany: Do not lecture us on democracy

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HAMBURG, GERMANY - MARCH 7: Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (R) meets with Turkish people living in Europe during his visit in Hamburg. AFP

Amid strained ties over the cancellation of referendum rallies hosted by Turkish ministers in Germany, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told Germany on Tuesday night in Hamburg not to lecture Turkey on democracy.

Addressing Turkish citizens in the residence of the Hamburg consul general, Çavuşoğlu said, ¨Do not try to give lessons on human rights and democracy.¨

Before his departure for Hamburg, Çavuşoğlu has said he was going to Germany and that no one can stop him.

Despite the fact that his program in Hamburg was not canceled but moved by the local municipality on Monday, Çavuşoğlu said: “I will get together with my fellow citizens in Hamburg. No one can stop this, and no one should try to.”

In a statement to German media, an official from Hamburg’s Mitte Municipality whose name was not disclosed said the venue, the Plaza Event Center, where Çavuşoğlu had planned to speak Tuesday, cannot be used “after serious fire safety hazards were identified and the use of the property was immediately prohibited.”

The German official did not disclose the name or location of the new venue but added that it would be announced early on Tuesday.

Earlier on Tuesday, Çavuşoğlu said the cancelation of rallies of Turkish ministers in Germany was unacceptable and added that “Western countries are green with envy over Turkey’s strength.”

He also said Europe is heading towards a disaster as a consequence of having surrendered to racist political parties and asserted, “Turkey can guide Europe and help to save it, if European officials come to their senses.”

Nobody can keep us from going there [Europe] and meeting with our citizens; we are going to go there and meet with our citizens. They pressure the hotels and halls, send out the police and then claim that it’s a local decision. This is systemic pressure. And, both the state and the deep state are involved in it,” he said.

Last week local authorities in Gaggenau and Cologne canceled the programs of Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ and Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekçi, which caused ties between the two countries to become strained.

Zeybekçi, however, arrived in the western city of Leverkusen for an event on Friday and made a speech to expatriates and urged support for the constitutional referendum.

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