German ban on Erdogan speech condemned
A German court decision to prevent Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressing a rally in Cologne was criticized as anti-democratic by EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik on Sunday.

In a series of tweets, he said the ruling by the Constitutional Court, which upheld the decision of a local court that Erdogan could not address the rally celebrating the defeat of the July 15 coup via video link, was "an utter backsliding in freedom of speech and democracy”.

The minister added that it was "such a shame to see that [the] EU fails in upholding democracy and showing solidarity with a candidate country in the face of a coup threat”.

Police had opposed Erdogan’s address to Sunday’s rally for "security reasons”.

Celik said the decision to ban Erdogan was "completely against democratic values”. He added: "This court decision also goes against freedom of speech and right to assembly.”

More than 230 people were martyred and nearly 2,200 injured in the coup attempt, which the Turkish government has said was carried out by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization led by U.S.-based preacher Fetullah Gulen.

Last Modified: 2016-08-01 08:09:33
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