Germany warns Erdoğan not to give speech at Turkish consulate

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BERLIN, GERMANY - DECEMBER 28: German Foreign Ministry's spokesman Martin Schaefer informs the media during a press conference at Federal Press Center in Berlin, Germany on December 28, 2015. AFP

Berlin warned Turkey on Monday not to hold any rallies at Turkish missions in Germany due to a ban on activities by non-EU leaders before the federal elections on Sept. 24.

At a press conference in Berlin on Monday, German Foreign Ministry spokesperson Martin Schafer warned Turkey not to violate the ban with a rally planned by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who will be in Germany on July 7-8 for the G-20 summit.

According to a story in Deutsche Welle (DW) on Monday, Schafer said: “I want to emphasize on behalf of the German government once more that this kind of activity is subject to prior permission from the Foreign Ministry.”

Underlining that Germany does not expect any disagreement with Turkish authorities on the issue, Schafer said any other action would be considered a violation of the German government’s decision.

He also added that the ban includes a speech by Erdoğan at a Turkish consulate and its distribution as a video message.

Turkish deputy prime minister and government spokesperson Numan Kurtulmuş said on Monday that Erdoğan would proceed with his planned program in Germany despite objections from Berlin.

Mr. President has a program planned in Hamburg where he will go for the G-20 summit and will meet with Turkish citizens living there,” said Kurtulmuş during a press conference in Ankara following a Cabinet meeting.

A possible rally to be held by Erdoğan in Germany during the G-20 summit further strained relations, which were already frayed due to a German veto of the entry into Germany of members of Erdoğan’s security detail who attacked protesters in Washington in May.

Earlier on Thursday Martin Schulz, the Social Democrat candidate for chancellor of Germany, called for a ban on Erdoğan’s planned political rally in Germany.

On the same day, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel voiced disapproval of a rally to be held by Erdoğan and implied that Chancellor Angela Merkel was of the same opinion.

A spokesperson for the Turkish Embassy in Berlin said on Saturday that Erdoğan does not necessarily need the approval of the German government to address Turkish citizens at the consulate.

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