Austrian and Dutch politicans call for ban on Turkish rallies

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks to the media in Ankara Turkey

The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has lashed out at Germany for blocking several rallies on its soil before an April vote in Turkey on boosting his powers, likening its stance to Nazi practices.

Mr Kern criticised Ankara's arrest of German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel, a correspondent for Die Welt newspaper, and many other journalists, academics and civil servants, and called for Yucel's immediate release.

New tensions emerged last week after the municipality of Gaggenau in southwest Germany revoked its permission for Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag to campaign for a planned referendum to expand Erdogan's powers, citing concerns of overcrowding.

Erdogan, accused by critics of increasingly authoritarian tendencies, has accused Germany of harboring enemies of Turkey, from Kurdish militants to coup organizers.

Adding to the controversy on Sunday, Erdogan made a Nazi comparison as he slammed the actions in Germany to ban the rallies.




The row has dragged relations between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partners to a new low.

He has been sharply criticized in western Europe for mass dismissals and arrests of suspected conspirators, from judges to journalists.

Julia Kloeckner, deputy leader of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, told Bild newspaper: "The Nazi comparison is a new high point of intemperance".

"A joint approach by the European Union to prevent such campaign appearances would be sensible", Kern said.

After Erdogan's outburst, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu spoke by phone with German counterpart Sigmar Gabriel late Sunday, a call that came at the request of the German side, a Turkish official said on condition of anonymity. Wilders, whose Party for Freedom is lagging only slightly behind Rutte's VVD party in polls before the Dutch March 15 election for parliament's lower house, said that "I think that coming here to advocate a change of the Turkish constitution that will only strengthen the Islamo-fascist leader Erdogan of Turkey more than Parliament, Turkish parliament, is the worst thing that could happen to us", Wilders told reporters at a campaign event. Your actions are no different from what the Nazis used to do. However, Berlin questioned the Ankara's hunt-down and purge overseas, seeing it as violations of human rights.

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