Cavusoglu says Germany’s pressure on Turkish citizens "unacceptable"

German authorities have cancelled several rallies of Turkish citizens in connection with next month’s referendum on constitutional reforms in Turkey.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks from a balcony during an election campaign rally for the upcoming Turkish referendum in Hamburg, Germany, March 7, 2017.

Updated Mar 8, 2017

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday that Germany's systematic pressure on Turkish citizens is "unacceptable."

Cavusoglu was speaking at a rally of Turkish citizens gathered at the residence of the Turkish consul general in the northern German city of Hamburg.

Referring to a German ban on holding rallies by Turkish citizens, Cavusoglu said, "Unfortunately, this is a systematic prevention. We want to see Germany as our ally. We don't have and cannot have hostility towards this country."

But Germany's systematic anti-turkey stance and the pressure on Turkish people living in Germany is unacceptable. If we are allies, these attitudes are not suitable.

'Don't give us lessons'

Cavusoglu told the German government not to preach about democracy.

"Please, don't give us lessons in human rights and democracy," he said.

The Turkish minister said that Europe has huge problems of racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia, adding that Europe is also supporting all forms of terrorism against Turkey.

Diplomatic tensions have risen between Turkey and Germany after German authorities withdrew permission for several rallies in connection with the constitutional referendum due on April 16. 

There are nearly four million people of Turkish origin living in Germany, of which about 1.5 million are Turkish citizens eligible to vote in the April referendum.

TRT World's Francis Collings has the latest from Hamburg.

TRTWorld and agencies