3 more campaign rallies of AKP deputy chair cancelled in Germany

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Turkish politician Mehmet Mehdi Eker attends a campaign meeting in Fittja, Sweden, on March 12, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / TT News Agency / Claudio BRESCIANI / Sweden OUT

As tension between Berlin and Ankara persists due to a ban on referendum campaign rallies held by Turkish ministers, three more events featuring ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Deputy Chairman Mehdi Eker in Germany were cancelled on Saturday, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Eker’s political program planned at a mosque compound in Wolfenbüttel on Saturday was banned by the municipality, which expressed concerns similar to those given in a Hannover mosque program ban — that a political event in a mosque compound would not be appropriate.

The Salzgitter Municipality also stated on Saturday that Eker’s program in the city had been cancelled. The owner of the hall informed the municipality of the cancellation.

In a similar move, the Braunschweig Municipality stated that Eker’s rally in the city had been cancelled by the owner of the restaurant where it was planned to take place.

Lower Saxony Interior Minister Boris Pistorius also stated that Eker’s political rallies have been prohibited in the state.

On Thursday Eker’s program in Hannover was cancelled due to problems related to the meeting hall.

The campaign events of Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekçi and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu were cancelled in Germany for similar reasons.

Another of Eker’s campaign rallies in Stockholm was moved to a different location after the landlord cancelled the rental contract on Saturday.

Turkish politicians have been traveling to Europe to campaign for an April 16 referendum in Turkey that will greatly expand President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s powers.

Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium have recently cancelled the rallies, leading to crises between Turkey and European countries.

Millions of Turkish citizens who are eligible to vote in Turkish elections live across all of Europe.

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