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Germany: Erdogan to campaign in Germany- but should he be allowed to do so? - by Beata Stur

Erdogan takes his political campaign into the EU
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will reportedly visit Germany next month to hold a campaign rally on his controversial constitutional reform plan.

As reported by Handelsblatt Global online, Erdogan will visit western Germany after an official visit in Strasbourg.

There are 1.4 million Turkish voters residing in Germany. Many of them live in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state, home to the cities of Cologne and Düsseldorf as well as the industrial Ruhr region.

But German politicians have reacted to the reports of Erdogan’s visit. For instance, the government’s integration commissioner, Aydan Özoguz, said that “everyone should campaign solely in their own country”. She told regional daily Ruhr Nachrichten that such events are toxic in Germany and harm peaceful coexistence.

Sven Lehmann, the chairman of North Rhine-Westphalia’s chapter of the Green party, which governs the state in a coalition with the Social Democrats, accused Erdogan of polarising Turkey and undermining fundamental rights in his country. “The federal government should make it clear that no anti-democratic events are to be held here,” Lehmann said.

According to Handelsblatt Global online, Turkish voters will decide on April 16 on a constitutional reform pushed by Erdogan’s party, the AKP, making Turkey a presidential republic with greatly increased powers for the president.

Last week, Turkey’s Prime Minister, Binali Yildirim, addressed 10,000 supporters gathered in an arena in Oberhausen, a city in the Ruhr region. He said that if they love their country, they have to vote yes.

Erdogan or any foreign dignitary for that matter, should not be allowed to campaign in EU member States for political causes which are foreign in origin. In this particular case for a Turkish referendum on giving Erdogan additional  dictatorial powers. 

It is also important that immigrants, who have chosen, for economic reasons, to live and work in a country other than that of their origin,  should not get involved in politics of their country of origin. 

If they still have a desire to do so, they should return to their country of origin and live there. 

As the saying goes "you can't have your cake and eat it also" and that also goes for Mr. Erdogan and his followers who live abroad.


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