Foreign Minister Gabriel on public appearances in Germany by President Erdogan of Turkey

29.06.2017 - Press release

Speaking on the margins of his visit to Krasnodar, Russia, Foreign Minister Gabriel made the following comment today (29 June) regarding an official request by Turkey that President Erdogan be permitted to address the public in Germany:

We have received an official request from Turkey that President Erdogan be permitted to address his compatriots in Germany on the sidelines of the G20 Summit.

I had already communicated to my Turkish colleague weeks ago that we do not believe this is a good idea. As we will be hosting the G20 Summit, we will not have sufficient police officers available to provide the necessary security. I also openly stated that such a public appearance would neither be appropriate nor politically apposite, given the current tensions that exist with Turkey.

I therefore very much understand the comments that have been made by Martin Schulz. We have a common position on this within the Federal Government. We will even go a step further. I have proposed to the Federal Chancellor that we reassess our policy. In the past, we have agreed to such public appearances, also during election campaigns. I think we should now tell all countries that are not EU members – not only Turkey – that we will not permit campaign appearances here that are intended to import another country’s internal conflicts into Germany.

It is the Federal Foreign Office’s view that this should no longer be permitted. I assume the Federal Chancellor will also think this is the right approach.

We consider the Turks who live in Germany to be fellow members of our society. All those who live in our midst, regardless of whether they are German citizens or not, are part of our country. We do not want these people to be subjected to demagoguery in connection with conflicts in their homeland.

Of course, President Erdogan is an important guest at the G20 Summit, and we will welcome him with full honours. I do not, however, believe that anything beyond that would be appropriate at this point in time.

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