Istanbul, August 1 Turkey summoned a senior German diplomat today, a day after a rally in Cologne in support of the Turkish president who was not permitted to address the crowd by video link. In Germany, home to Turkey’s largest diaspora, tens of thousands of Erdogan supporters rallied in Cologne yesterday to demonstrate their opposition to the coup in an event held under tight security. Hours before the demonstration, Germany’s constitutional court rejected an application to show via video link live speeches from Turkey by politicians including Erdogan, over fears they could work up the crowd. The decision sparked anger in Turkey, with presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin calling the move unacceptable and a “violation of the freedom of expression and the right to free assembly”. A spokeswoman for the German embassy told AFP that the charge d’affaires had “been summoned to the Turkish foreign ministry at 1:00pm (1000 GMT)” today over the rally. But Berlin played down the incident, saying such “invitations” were nothing out of the ordinary. “In the day-to-day dealings between countries, it is a daily event -- normal for a representative of a country to be called in to the foreign ministry of his host country,” German foreign ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer told journalists. The tension comes as ties between Germany and Turkey were already strained over the German parliament’s decision to brand as genocide the World War I-era Armenian massacre by Ottoman forces.
Turkey summons senior German envoy over Cologne rally
Published: 05:30 am Aug 02, 2016