Europe

German court bans Erdogan video call to anti-coup rally

Turkish president prevented on court order from addressing supporters in Koln rally against July 15 coup attempt

31.07.2016
German court bans Erdogan video call to anti-coup rally

ANKARA

Germany's highest court late Saturday upheld a ruling to ban Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from addressing via video call a planned anti-coup rally in Cologne.

The decision by the Federal Constitutional Court came after Cologne police prevented the rally organizers from inviting the president to give a speech to thousands of supporters expected to gather for Sunday's rally in Deutzer Werft to protest the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey.

Police said the measure was for "security reasons". A local court agreed with the decision, issuing the ruling that scrapped the plan.

Zafer Sirakaya, head of the Union of European Turkish Democrats that organized the rally, criticized the court ruling as politically motivated.

"There is no acceptability to this ruling from a legal perspective. It is extremely clear that this is a political decision," Sirakaya told Anadolu Agency.

He added that the union would nevertheless comply with the decision and plan accordingly.

More than 230 people were killed and nearly 2,200 people injured in the coup attempt, which the Turkish government has said was carried out by Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) led by soi-disant preacher Fetullah Gulen.

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