Ankara Slams Germany for Blocking Turkish Justice Minister Gaggenau Speech

Turkish Minister for EU Affairs Omer Celik lashed out at the German authorities on Friday after they blocked Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag's address to the expat community in the city of Gaggenau, saying that Berlin is inconsistent in its pursuance of democratic values.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Thursday, authorities of Gaggenau revoked permission for a rally due to concerns about overcrowding. At the rally, Bozdag was supposed to address the Turkish expat community.

"The countries that the most heard when it comes to democratic values must be consistent with these democratic values. The right of assembly and demonstration is a democratic right," Celik said as quoted by Anadolu Agency.

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"If Germany wants to hold an event for German citizens in Turkey, our doors are open for them [to do so]. We will encourage them here as this is their democratic right," Celik stressed.

Germany’s Turkish expat community is the largest in Europe counting approximately 3 million people.

Turkish-German relations worsened against the backdrop of Germany's criticism concerning Turkish crackdown after the failed coup in July 2016. In February, Turkish-German journalist Deniz Yucel was arrested in Istanbul on charges of participation in a terror organization, misuse of data as well as terrorism propaganda, which provoked a new wave of criticism toward Turkey.

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