Venue owner in Sweden cancels AKP deputy chairman’s event

Mehdi Eker.

The meeting of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy chairman Mehdi Eker, who is responsible for external relations of the party, was moved to a different location in Stockholm after the venue owner cancelled the lease contract on Saturday.

The venue owner in Stockholm’s Fittja district cancelled the lease for a meeting that was scheduled at 16:00 on Sunday. The venue owner did not provide any reason to cancellation. Eker is schedule to address Turkish citizens in Sweden in a different place. He put the blame on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) for the cancellation of the rental contract.

As he accused the PKK supporters of threatening the landowner of the venue where his meeting was supposed to take place, he said the Swedish government had not objected to his meeting. He called out Germany and Holland for backing the ‘No’ vote in the referendum.

“We have approximately three million voters abroad. The majority of this are in Europe and half are in Germany. The Netherlands and Germany have clearly declared that they are on the ‘No’ side in this referendum. Why did you choose ‘No’ for a referendum being held in Turkey? What interests you? This is an issue for Turkey’s own citizens,” he said.

Communications Officer for Sweden’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kent Öberg, said that there is freedom of speech in his country and that anyone has a right to hold a meeting and speak.

As Turkish politicians travel Europe to campaign for the April 16 referendum in favor of expanding Turkey’s already autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s powers, Germany and Netherlands have cancelled events for Turkish ministers. The cancellations continue to lead crises among Turkey and European countries.

Millions of Turkish citizens who are eligible for voting in Turkish elections live across Europe.

March 12, 2017

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