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Ankara summons German ambassador over canceled rally

Ankara summons German ambassador over canceled rally”

Turkey told North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partner Germany on Friday it must "learn how to behave" if it wanted to maintain relations after two German towns stopped Turkish ministers speaking at meetings of supporters of President Tayyip Erdogan.

"I have a telephone call with the German chancellor at 3:00 pm (1200 GMT)", Yildirim told a rally in the central Turkish province of Kirsehir where he was campaigning for a "Yes" vote in the April 16 referendum to boost President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's powers. "With such pressure we will not speak with you", Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in Ankara on Friday, according to Reuters.

Municipal officials in Leverkusen, where Zeybekci was to address a cultural association gathering, and Frechen, where he was to give opening greetings at a concert, said they had no plans to stop his appearances, Germany's dpa news agency reported.

Gaggenau mayor Michael Pfeiffer said the decision had no political motivation.

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Bekir Bozdag condemned the decision stating that what has happened is unacceptable.

Authorities in the German city of Gaggenau had revoked permission for the meeting at short notice, saying there was not enough space for parking vehicles and entrances to the rally.

But German foreign ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said "that is a decision the federal government has absolutely no influence on. because it falls under local or state jurisdiction on which we have zero influence".

Tensions between the two countries further escalated last week after German media and politicians sharply criticized Turkey for the pre-trial detention of Die Welt's Istanbul correspondent Deniz Yücel on charges of terror propaganda.

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Bozdag recalled that German authorities had previously not allowed Erdogan to address a meeting by video, but said leaders of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, which is also outlawed by Germany, were frequently allowed to address supporters in the country by video. They first didn't hand him over, but later, somehow, they did.

"Because the event is now known across the region, the city expects a large number of visitors", local authorities said in a statement.

"But a Turkish minister is not allowed to speak".

Relations between Berlin and Ankara have been fraught in recent years, in part due to Germany's criticism of Turkey's mass arrest of suspected critics.

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Speaking earlier on Friday, Merkel said Berlin was right to criticise Ankara over press freedom.



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