German minister says he hopes dispute with Ankara over election campaigns doesn’t repeat

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas announced that his country will not allow Turkish politicians to carry out election campaign rallies, ahead of upcoming snap parliamentary and presidential elections
Monday, 23 April 2018 19:01

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on April 23 said he hopes a dispute between Germany and Turkey over elections campaigning in Germany doesn’t repeat.

"[Such as dispute] isn’t beneficial for either sides," Maas said, speaking on the sidelines of the G7 Foreign Ministers Summit being held in Toronto, Canada.

Maas said a foreign country’s election campaigning is not allowed in Germany three months before the elections. He said rules apply to all countries, and is not specific to Turkey.

"Our attitude regarding the matter is clear. In the three-month period ahead of elections in a foreign country, politicians will not be authorized to carry out election campaigns in Germany," he told reporters. 

Last week, President and Chairman of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called snap elections for June 24, bringing the polls forward by a year-and-a-half.

Earlier in March 2017, then Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ and Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci were prevented from holding meetings in Germany, prior to the April 16 constitutional referendum.

However, Erdoğan said over the weekend that he will hold a grand rally in one of the European countries.

"I will be present at an international organization event at an 11,000 capacity sports hall and address my fellow Turkish citizens there. It is highly likely that we will gather [Turks in Europe] there and deliver our speech," Erdoğan said in a televised interview Saturday night.