Turkey summons German ambassador over minister's cancelled meeting

| Updated: Mar 03, 2017 07:02 IST

Ankara [Turkey], March 3 (ANI): Turkey's Foreign Ministry has summoned the German Ambassador, Martin Erdmann, over the cancellation of a Thursday meeting between Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag and Turkish citizens in Germany, Anadolu news agency reported citing a ministry source. According to the source, Erdmann was called to the ministry in relation with the developments which led the municipality of the southern German town of Gaggenau to revoke permission for a hall meeting between Bozdag and the members of the Turkish community scheduled for earlier Thursday. Erdmann was called upon the order of Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, the source said, adding Deputy Undersecretary Mehmet Kemal Bozay expressed Turkey's discomfort over the incident. The permission for the Thursday meeting was revoked citing concerns of overcrowding, which prompted Bozdag to cancel his planned visit to Germany. The incident has drawn strong criticism from the Turkish government. In related developments, addressing the Turkish population in Germany, Bozdag wanted to promote the constitutional reform to expand the powers of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, reports the DW. Of the more than 3 million people of Turkish descent living in Germany, some 1.4 million are eligible to vote in the controversial referendum taking place in April. Meanwhile, Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing calls to ban Erdogan, from entering Germany while a German journalist continues to be held in an Istanbul prison. Turkey correspondent of Die Welt newspaper, Deniz Yucel, last month became the first German citizen to be arrested as part of Erdogan's crackdown on the press Erdogan, who campaigned in Germany in 2011 and 2014, was rumoured to be planning a political rally to secure the symbolically important diaspora vote before April's referendum. But on Wednesday, Merkel's spokesman said a ban would send the wrong signal. Steffen Seibert said: "The German government deplores the fact that freedom of speech and freedom of the press are currently limited in Turkey to an unacceptable degree. If we deplore this in another country, then we should be even more alert to make sure that freedom of speech is respected, within the framework of the law, in our own country. We should demonstrate what we demand from others." (ANI)
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