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Turkey summons German ambassador over rally ban

Turkey summons German ambassador over rally ban

The president's comments followed the recent cancellation of a rally in the German town of Gaggenau where Turkey's justice minister Bekir Bozdag was expected to meet with the Turkish community to speak with about the upcoming referendum that would increase the president's powers. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said today he would speak with German Chancellor Angela Merkel by telephone amid a row over rallies cancelled in Germany ahead of a vote next month in Turkey. "The talk took longer than planned", he also said.

Turks vote on April 16 on whether to create a presidential system - a change that the government says will ensure political stability, but which critics say will herald one-man rule by Erdogan.

And the town of Gaggenau, which had cancelled a rally scheduled for Thursday by Turkey's justice minister, Bekir Bozdag, said it received a bomb threat early Friday.

And ties have worsened after the formal arrest of Turkish-German Die Welt journalist Deniz Yucel on Monday who is accused of "terrorist propaganda".

Police are searching the city hall. "One month. When we told them to hand him over to be tried, they refused".

Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci was due to hold a rally there on Sunday.

During the call, Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu once again expressed dissatisfaction over Germany's decisions to his counterpart, Sigmar Gabriel, the sources said.




"They want to stand in the way of a strong Turkey", Cavusoglu said on Friday.

A similar rally by Turkey's Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci was also taken off the books in Cologne after city officials said they were misinformed about the objective of the event.

But the German decisions come against the backdrop of renewed strains in relations between Ankara and Berlin over Yucel's arrest.

Berlin accuses Ankara of overreacting after a failed military coup last July, which triggered a wide-scale crackdown on supporters of Fethullah Gulen, the US-based cleric accused by the Turkish government of masterminding the plot.

"This is a very unfortunate decision against democracy and freedoms", Yildirim told a rally in Kirsehir, in central Turkey, on Saturday, according to Turkish news service Anadolu Agency.

Recalling previous incidents, including one a year ago when Erdogan was also blocked from addressing Turkish citizens, Cavusoglu said: "This has become a systematic practice of the German deep state".

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