Turkey blasts German ban on Erdogan video call to rally

Türkiye Materials 31 July 2016 18:39 (UTC +04:00)

A German court preventing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from addressing supporters at a rally in Cologne is “unacceptable,” said Erdogan’s spokesman Sunday, Anadolu reported.

Germany's highest court late Saturday upheld a ruling to ban Erdogan from addressing via video call a rally to protest the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey.

The decision by the Federal Constitutional Court came after Cologne police prevented rally organizers from inviting the president to give a speech to thousands of supporters expected to gather for Sunday's rally in Deutzer Werft.

Police said the measure was for "security reasons.” A local court agreed with the decision, issuing the ruling that scrapped the plan.

In a written statement, Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin questioned the real reason for the ban.

"Security measures should be taken against anti-democratic provocateurs, not against people holding democracy rallies," he said.

Kalin said that a rally defending freedom and the rule of law against the July 15 coup attempt should be hailed and encouraged, but instead there were efforts to ban it, contrary to democracy and the freedoms of expression and assembly.

He added that all Turkish citizens and Europeans should take a clear stance against the July 15 coup attempt and with the nation that repelled the attempt.

More than 230 people were killed and nearly 2,200 people injured in the coup attempt, which the Turkish government said was carried out by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) led by U.S.-based preacher Fetullah Gulen.