German Town Receives Bomb Threat After Cancelling Turkish Rally

Merkel demands Turkey release arrested German journalist amid pressure over Erdoğan visit

Merkel demands Turkey release arrested German journalist amid pressure over Erdoğan visit

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.

The Union of European Turkish Democrats, who arranged the Gaggenau rally, also had their event in Cologne cancelled where Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci was expected to speak.

"They don't want Turkish leaders to campaign because they are working for "no" votes", he said.

Zeybecki said he still planned to go to Germany.

"The Bad Rotenfels hall, parking lots, and road access are insufficient to meet that demand", they told media.

German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer responded that the federal government had nothing to do with the cancellations, and suggested Turkish officials voicing their irritation in the press was in "nobody's interest" and simply "pouring oil onto the fire".

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has talked on the phone with German ChancellorAngela Merkel over Germany's decision to ban Turkish ministers from holding events in two German cities ahead of the April 16 constitutional referendum that will decide whether the current parliamentary system should be shifted to an executive presidency.

Police had to deal with a bomb alert in one of the places where a rally was cancelled.

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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.

"It is unacceptable that German authorities, who constantly lecture us about human rights, democracy, rule of law, free speech.do not tolerate a meeting organised by the Turkish community", the Turkish minister said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected Turkey's accusations, saying the decisions were "taken by municipalities, and as a matter of principle, we apply freedom of expression in Germany".

"Even if they don't allow (it), I will go from house to house to meet with our citizens in Germany", he was quoted as saying by the state-run Anadolu news agency.

Relations between Turkey and Germany have soured following a series of disputes since a failed coup attempt to overthrow Erdogan a year ago.

The cancellations were met with anger in Ankara, where Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu accused Berlin of seeking "to get in the way of a strong Turkey".

Earlier in the day, Yıldırım said that the decision of German authorities is "very unfortunate".

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