Germany cancels talks by Turkish ministers

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag (right) and Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci.

Two separate talks by Turkish ministers Bekir Bozdag and Nihat Zeybekci in Germany have been cancelled by local German officials, the country’s media is reporting.

A talk by Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag that was supposed to go ahead tonight in the state of Baden-Württemberg in the south of Germany has been cancelled by local authorities, citing a lack of space for the event that was expected to draw in significant crowds.

Separately, a meeting organised by the the Union of Turkish Democrats in Europe (UETD), a diaspora organisation known to be affiliated to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), in which Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci was set to talk about the proposed presidential system in Turkey was cancelled by officials in the Western German city of Cologne.

However, the council of Porz, the town in which the event was supposed to take place, announced that it would not grant the organisers a room for such an event. Although the leader of the council, Henk van Benthem, did not give a reason as to why they had taken this decision, he did say that the decision was taken after “one of our workers notified us of who the talker at the event would be”.

Germany has a sizeable population of expatriates from Turkey with figures ranging from three to five million. A significant portion of these are eligible to vote in the upcoming constitutional referendum with ballot boxes to be opened throughout Europe.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim was in the Western city of Oberhausen earlier this month where he addressed a crowd and asked for support in the campaign.