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Berlin-Ankara Rift Grows? Group of German Lawmakers Cancels Visit to Turkey

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A delegation of German lawmakers, including the Bundestag's Vice President Claudia Roth, canceled on Tuesday their visit to Turkey, which was scheduled for this week, for unknown reasons, local media reported.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Roth will make a statement regarding the decision on Wednesday, Der Spiegel magazine reported.

Four German lawmakers were planning to visit the Turkish cities of Ankara, Diyarbakir and Istanbul in order to discuss internal Turkish developments as well as the nation's relations with the European Union, according to the German parliament's statement.

Turkish and EU flags - Sputnik International
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The lawmakers planned on meeting with Turkish lawmakers, representatives of the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of EU Affairs and human rights activists in Ankara, with the governor, members of the city council, local lawmakers and representatives of the civil society in Diyarbair, and with artists, academicians and think tanks in Istanbul.

The visit was scheduled amid the deterioration of EU-Turkish relations. Specifically, the European Union has become concerned over the outcome of the recent Turkish referendum, which granted the sitting president with more powers, and Ankara's consideration of reintroducing the death penalty. Earlier this month, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that if Turkey reinstated capital punishment, it would mean the end of the the country's talks on accession to the European Union.

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