Erdogan cancels visit to Germany - report

Erdogan cancels visit to Germany - report
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German media reported that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan canceled a working visit to Germany planned for Friday after German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called on him to publicly criticize hate speech by an AKP deputy in the German city of Neuss

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has canceled a working visit to Germany planned for Friday after the two governments failed to reach an agreement on his AKP's election campaign in Germany, German media reported Tuesday.

According to RND, Erdogan's decision came after German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's foreign policy adviser Jens Ploetner and Erdogan's adviser Ibrahim Kalin failed to agree on topics and a date for the meeting.

RND said that the German side wanted Erdogan to publicly criticize Erdogan's AKP deputy Mustafa Acikgoz's campaign appearance in Neuss, where he called on an ultranationalist audience to crush "terrorists" in Germany, referring to Kurdish activists and the followers of Fethullah Gulen, a controversial sectarian leader whom the Turkish government suspects was behind a 2016 coup attempt.

Frankfurter Rundschau also confirmed that Scholz insisted Erdogan publicly criticize Acikgoz's hate speech.

Campaign appearances by Turkish government officials had led to significant tensions between Berlin and Ankara in the past, particularly ahead of a constitutional referendum in Turkey in April 2017.

In June of that year, the German government banned campaign appearances by "public officials" from non-EU countries for a period of three months before the election. The regulation was heavily criticized by Ankara.

Turkish voters abroad have the opportunity to tip the balance in the event of a close election result. Traditionally, Erdogan can count on strong support among Turks in Germany. In the 2018 election, he received nearly 53 percent of the vote in Turkey and nearly 65 percent in Germany.