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Germany Tells Erdogan It’ll Block His Rally on G-20 Sidelines

  • Turkish president requested permit to campaign in Hamburg
  • Not ‘a good idea’ amid German-Turkey tension: foreign minister

Germany is moving to ban a rally by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of next week’s Group of 20 summit in Hamburg and will seek to block future campaign appearances by non-European officials, Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said.

Gabriel said in an emailed statement he informed his Turkish counterpart “weeks ago” that an Erdogan rally in Germany “wouldn’t be a good idea” because of the security measures required — and “inappropriate” given tensions between the two countries.

“We’re telling Turkey that we’re convinced that such a public appearance isn’t possible in Germany” and “we won’t allow it to take place,” Deutsche Presse-Agentur newswire quoted Gabriel as saying separately during a trip to Moscow on Thursday.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will host the July 7-8 summit of G-20 leaders, which has Hamburg police bracing for protests targeting President Donald Trump and Erdogan in particular. Erdogan has lashed out at European leaders this year after officials in Germany and the Netherlands blocked several campaign rallies by Turkish politicians.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said it’s “regrettable” that Erdogan had to ask Germany’s permission and criticized unnamed German politicians for seeking to restrict freedom of expression in their country.

Air-Base Conflict

Gabriel told reporters that he’ll recommend a more general ban on campaign appearances from officials of non-European Union nations who aim to “bring domestic conflicts of another country to Germany.”

“I expect the chancellor also supports this idea,” Gabriel said, according to a statement distributed by the Foreign Ministry. He confirmed that Turkey had made an official request for Erdogan to hold a rally for Turks in Germany.

Tension between Turkey and Germany has been increasing, with Germany moving troops out of a NATO base in Turkey after Erdogan’s government blocked visiting rights by German lawmakers. The government in Berlin has also denounced the jailing of German journalists in Turkey.