Politics

Erdogan slams Germany for allowing pro-PKK rally

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Germany allows terrorists to stage rallies under police protection

28.05.2018
Erdogan slams Germany for allowing pro-PKK rally

By Sena Guler

ANKARA

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday slammed German interference in Turkish elections by not allowing officials to attend meetings in Germany, on Monday.

Speaking at the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party's rally in western Manisa province, Erdogan said: "They are not allowing our friends to attend meetings in Germany even for state duties, but they allow PKK.”

“They [Germany] are lying to us. They allow terrorists to stage rallies under police protection,” he added.

Turkey's opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), which the government accuses of being a political front for terrorist organization PKK, was allowed to hold a rally in German city of Cologne on Saturday.

Almost a thousand PKK supporters gathered in Neumarkt square, a spokesman for the German police told Anadolu Agency.

In April, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas had said that his country would not allow Turkish politicians to carry out election campaign rallies.

Anti-terror operations

During his speech, Erdogan announced that Turkey has neutralized 4,481 terrorists in Syria’s Afrin since the launch of Operation Olive Branch.

He also noted that anti-terror operations also neutralized 423 PKK terrorists in northern Iraq and 415 terrorists inside the country.

Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to imply that the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.

Erdogan is expected to hold rallies in 30 provinces during his election campaign.

Last April, the parliament passed a bill for early elections on June 24, cementing Turkey’s move to a presidential system.

In the April 2017 referendum, Turkish voters had approved the switch from a parliamentary system to a presidential one.

Erdogan has served as president since 2014 -- Turkey's first popularly elected president. Before that, he served as prime minister, from 2003 to 2014.

Should he win the June 24 election, Erdogan would be Turkey's first leader under the presidential system, doing away with the prime minister's post, among other changes.

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