3 more campaign rallies of AKP deputy chair cancelled in Germany

Mehdi Eker.

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.

Meanwhile, commenting on an April 16 referendum for a switch to an executive presidency in Turkey, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu claimed on Saturday that European countries are campaigning against a system change in the country because they do not want to see a stronger and more stable Turkey.

“Did they start a ‘no’ campaign because they like Turks or Muslims?” Çavuşoğlu asked people in his hometown of Antalya during a rally in favor of a “yes” vote in the upcoming referendum.

“They [Europeans] know that Turkey will be stronger and more independent with the new system of governance,” Çavuşoğlu said and added that Europe has begun to realize that they cannot give orders to a growing Turkey.

It is widely argued by the government and its media that the West cannot stand a growing Turkey and has been conspiring against it.

Turkey’s foreign minister also argued that European countries are dragging the continent into a pre-World War II era. “Wake up already,” Çavuşoğlu urged Europeans as he called on them to come to their senses.

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 (SCF with turkishminute.com) March 18, 2017

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