Presidential spokesman: German politicians’ remarks on Erdoğan rally show hypocrisy in Europe

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ANKARA, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 22 : Turkish Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalın holds a press conference at Presidental Complex in Ankara, Turkey on February 22, 2017. AFP

Turkish Presidency spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said on Thursday that recent remarks by German politicians objecting to a political rally planned by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in July are provocative, malevolent and indicative of double standards in Europe.

In a written statement on Thursday, Kalın said: “The fact that those who are attempting to teach Turkey a lesson in democracy, human rights and freedoms at every opportunity, trying to prevent our president meeting with our citizens while they are taking terror organizations, coup plotters and the outlawed under their wing is the most concrete indicator of the double standards reigning in Europe.”

Underlining that “weak excuses” to prevent Erdoğan from meeting with Turkish expatriates in the EU doesn’t comply with the friendly relations between Germany and Turkey, Kalın said: “We hope that the German authorities will not repeat the serious mistakes made during the [April 16] referendum campaign.”

Local German authorities canceled several rallies of Turkish ministers in a number of German towns in March to win support for a referendum on April 16 that expanded Erdoğan’s powers.

On Thursday, Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) leader Martin Schulz called for a ban on an Erdoğan rally in Hamburg and criticized the imprisonment of politicians and journalists in Turkey.

In the meantime, Sigmar Gabriel, the German foreign minister, also voiced his disapproval of a political rally by Erdoğan and implied that Chancellor Angela Merkel is of the same view.
German officials are concerned about increased tension and clashes between pro-Erdoğan supporters and Kurdish nationalists around the G20 summit.

Relations between Turkey and Germany have deteriorated over the past year due to the blocking of a campaign in Germany for a referendum in Turkey in April, Erdoğan’s repeated emphasis on reintroducing the death penalty, Germany’s granting of asylum to military officers and diplomats who are accused of a failed coup attempt in Turkey and human rights abuses in the country, including the arrest of two German-Turkish journalists.

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