Germany says 'not a good idea' for Erdogan to hold rally around G20
President Tayyip Erdogan wants to hold a political rally around the Hamburg G20 summit, but German officials have said now is not the right time.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has requested to hold a political rally in Germany next week on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel confirmed on Thursday, describing the proposal as "not a good idea."
Given tensions between Germany and Turkey "the political climate" is not ripe for Erdoğan to hold a political rally addressing Turks, Gabriel said during a visit with his Russian counterpart.
According to the news od dw.com, "The federal government is of the same opinion on this topic," Gabriel said, hinting that Chancellor Angela Merkel is in agreement.
Erdoğan will attend the G20 summit in Hamburg next week, his first visit to Germany since he and several of his ministers accused Germany and other European countries of "Nazi-like" practices for blocking campaigning for a constitutional referendum that granted him sweeping presidential powers in April.
The Turkish president's request to hold a rally comes as he has repeatedly floated the idea of reintroducing the death penalty during speeches at home.
Germany and other European countries have said they would not let the Turkish government hold rallies that promote the return of the death penalty, which if re-implemented would officially end the country's morbid EU membership bid.
German officials have repeatedly said they do not want internal conflicts in Turkey spilling onto German soil, where some three million people of Turkish origin live. Already, security circles have warned of clashes between pro-Erdoğan supporters and protesters around the G20 summit.
German-Turkish relations have gone from bad to worse over the past year, making the issue a political football ahead national elections in Germany in September.
Earlier, the leader of Germany's Social Democrats (SPD), Martin Schulz, told German daily "Bild" any Erdoğan rally should be banned over concerns about the authoritarian nature of his government.
"Foreign politicians who trample on our values at home must not be allowed a stage for speeches in Germany," said Schulz, whose SPD is trailing behind Merkel's CDU in the polls. "I don't want Mr Erdoğan, who jails opposition politicians and journalists in Turkey, to hold big rallies in Germany."
In another row, Germany decided to pull troops participating in the US-led anti-"Islamic State" mission from an airbase in southern Turkey after Ankara refused permission for German lawmakers to visit soldiers.
Adding to tensions, Germany granted asylum to military officers and other diplomatic passport holders who Ankara accuses of being involved in last July's failed coup attempt.
Relations have also been hit by the deterioration of democracy and human rights in the Turkey as well as the continued arrest of two German-Turkish journalists on trumped up "terrorism" charges. (EVRENSEL DAILY)