Turkey has summoned Germany’s envoy to Ankara over Berlin’s move to prevent Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from addressing his supporters during a rally in the German city of Cologne via video conference.
“The [German] charge d’affaires has been summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry at 1:00 pm (1000 GMT),” a spokeswoman for the German Embassy said Monday, noting that the ambassador was not in the city.
Tens of thousands of Erdogan supporters, including several Turkish officials, staged a rally in Cologne on Sunday to denounce the failed coup of July 15 in Turkey.
Over 245 people were killed and more than 2,100 others were injured during the abortive coup, in which an army faction, using hijacked helicopters and tanks, clashed with government troops and people on the streets of the capital Ankara and the city of Istanbul.
Several counter-demonstrations were also held in Cologne, including one under the banner of “Stop Erdogan”.
Germany’s constitutional court banned an application to show live speeches from Turkey by politicians, including Erdogan, amid security concerns and fears of the spillover of the security tensions from Turkey to Germany, which is home to about three million people of Turkish origin.
Turkey’s presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin denounced the ban as unacceptable and a “violation of the freedom of expression and the right to free assembly.”
The measures Ankara has resorted to in the wake of the botched coup have raised domestic and international concern.
So far, over 60,000 people in the Turkish military, judiciary, civil services and schools have been detained, dismissed or suspended over suspected Gulen links.
Relations between Berlin and Ankara were already strained after the German parliament approved a resolution recognizing as “genocide” the killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks a century ago.