Turkey condemns Germany's 'double standard'

The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Saturday condemned German authorities for allowing a rally organised by the mainly Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) in Cologne, describing the decision as a ‘double standard’.

Germany previously announced that Turkish politicians would not be allowed to carry out election campaign rallies in Germany ahead of upcoming parliamentary and presidential polls on June 24, after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he would address Turkish people living in Europe ahead of the elections. 

Turkish Foreign Ministry said that, though the Turkish government did not approve the regulation banning meetings of third country politicians with their voters in Germany, it did not take any steps against this decision, but emphasised that the ban had to be applied to all political parties without any discrimination. 

“When we have learned that a political party from our country was to hold an election rally in Cologne, the German authorities were reminded of this and the necessary warning was made. Despite all this, there is no justification for Germany to allow such an activity today,” the Foreign Ministry said. 

The Ministry also said that symbols of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) was used during the rally. PKK has been fighting inside Turkey since 1984 and is recognised as a terrorist organisation in Europe.

“We strongly condemn this hypocritical approach which is neither consistent with democracy nor with the fight against terrorism nor with the expectations of normalisation in Turkish-German relations,” the Ministry said.

Two deputies of the HDP, Ahmet Yildirim and Tugba Hezer, were banned by the Cologne police from speaking at the rally today, Reuters reported citing the German Rheinische Post newspaper.