Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on April 24 that he is planning to hold a campaign rally in Europe – ahead of elections in June. But several EU countries, including Germany, have banned Turkish politicians from campaigning.
As reported by Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, Erdogan’s plans could put Turkey on a collision course with the European Union, several of whose members have banned Turkish politicians from campaigning on their soil.
Germany has banned foreign politicians from campaigning on its territory ahead of elections.
“Our view is clear. In the three-month period before elections in a foreign country, no election campaigning will take place in Germany,” Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters at the G7 meeting in Toronto, Canada.
In a separate report, the Reuters News agency noted the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) Monitoring Committee’s concern about Turkey. They said the legitimacy of the elections was at stake after Turkey extended a state of emergency imposed following a failed military coup in mid-2016 and introduced a new electoral system last month.
The committee also expressed concern about what it said would be the possible presence of police forces in polling stations which “could have a deterrent effect on voters”.
“All these factors combined seriously challenge the democratic nature of the elections,” it said, calling on Turkish authorities to postpone the vote.
But Reuters quoted Turkish government spokesman Bekir Bozdag as criticising the Council of Europe statement, calling it unacceptable and a “clear intervention in Turkey’s internal affairs”.
He accused the committee of double standards for not seeking a delay to last year’s French presidential election, also held under a state of emergency imposed after the 2015 Paris attacks.