German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel said he had informed Turkey of his government's decision.
German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel said he had informed Turkey of his government's decision.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will not be allowed to address ethnic Turks in Germany next week on the sidelines of a G20 summit.

German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel said Berlin had received a request for Erdogan to be able to address members of the three-million-strong Turkish diaspora in the EU country.

"I explained weeks ago to my Turkish colleagues that we don't think that would be a good idea," Gabriel said during visit to Russia, pointing at stretched police resources around the G20 summit in Hamburg from July 7-8.

"We don't have the police forces available to ensure security, given the G20," Gabriel said. "But I also told them openly that such an appearance was not appropriate given the conflict situation that exists with Turkey, and that it would not fit into the political landscape at this time."

"I also said quite frankly that such an appearance would not be appropriate given the current adversarial situation with Turkey," he added, stressing that Erdogan would however be "received with honours" at the summit.

Domestic political calculations

Turkey reacted angrily to the decision, accusing German politicians of double standards.

"It is regrettable that some politicians in Germany are making unacceptable comments with domestic political calculations," Turkey's foreign ministry spokesman, Huseyin Muftuoglu, said in a statement released on Thursday .

Muftuoglu also appeared to take a swipe at former European Parliament President Martin Schulz, who earlier this week referred to Erdogan as an "autocratic ruler."

"The approach of the person who has chaired the European Parliament ... once again underlines the true face of the mentality we are facing and their double standards," he said.

Schulz, who served as president of the European Parliament from 2012 to January of this year is the leader of Germany's Social Democratic Party and hopes to unseat Angela Merkel as chancellor of Germany in federal elections taking place later in September this year.

Frayed ties

Erdogan last addressed Turkish-Germans in May 2015, in the city of Karlsruhe. The large Turkish diaspora is a legacy of Germany's massive post-war "guest worker" programme of the 1960s and 1970s.

But ties have been especially strained since the July 15th failed coup in Turkey, and tensions have worsened over multiple issues. This includes Germany's refusal to allow campaigning for a referendum which saw Turkey move from a parliamentary system to a presidential system.

Turkey imprisoned Deniz Yucel, a German-Turkish journalist with Die Welt daily, on terror charges earlier this year.

And this month Germany decided to withdraw its troops who support the fight against Daesh in Syria from NATO partner Turkey's Incirlik base and move them to Jordan after German lawmakers were refused the right to visit the base.

Source: Reuters