Bomb threat in German town that cancelled Turkish minister’s speech

Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ.

German police on Friday called for the evacuation of the city hall in the southwestern German town of Gaggenau after it received a bomb threat. The town had canceled a scheduled campaign speech by Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ.

The city hall in Gaggenau was evacuated after a bomb threat was phoned in, Dieter Spannagel, Gaggenau’s head of citizen services, according to  AFP news agency.

“We don’t know how seriously we should take this threat,” Gaggenau Mayor Michael Pfeiffer told the n-tv television station.

The person who called in the threat to the town hall said it was linked to the cancellation of a controversial campaign speech by Turkish Justice Minister Bozdağ, Spannagel added.

It was not immediately clear whether police searching the town hall found any explosives. The search was reported to require several hours.

Meanwhile, the Spokesperson of Germany’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Martin Schaefer has said that the decision to cancel Minister BozdağSs speech was taken at a local level.

Germany’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sigmar Gabriel had also explained that only local authorities had the competence to decide whether politicians from Turkey could run campaigns in Germany. Gabriel had informed that neither the federal government nor the federal state administrations had the authority to decide whether an assembly could take place in a way which would not endanger public security.

Gaggenau was one of two German venues to cancel speeches by Turkish politicians campaigning for changes to the Turkish constitution that would give more power to country’s president, currently Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. (SCF with March 3, 2017

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