The Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will hold his referendum rally in Hamburg, even if it requires using a diplomatic venue. According to rally organizers, Cavusoglu intends to speak at the residence of the Turkish Consul General in Uhlenhorst at around 6 p.m. local time (1700 UTC) on Tuesday evening.
Approximately 100 visitors are expected to participate in the event.
Following Monday’scancellation of a planned appearance in the nearby district Wilhelmsburg , it wasn’t immediately clear whether Cavusoglu’s rally – part of a broader ministerial visit – would go ahead.
Several high-profile Turkish politicians have had rallies in Germany canceled in recent days as they hope to court support among German-based Turks for a controversial referendum on April 16.
A “yes” vote would expand Erdogan’s powers as president, with critics warning that the new presidential system would cement one-man rule in the country. About 1.4 million Turks in Germany are eligible to vote in the referendum and are therefore the target of campaigning – as is commonplace before Turkish general elections, too.
In an escalating dispute over the campaign, Erdogan on Sunday likened the cancellations to “Nazi practices.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel brushed aside Erdogan’s claims, however, saying they were so “out of place” that it wasn’t even possible to issue a serious comment in response.
Cavusoglu had also accused Berlin of working to scupper the rallies.
“The hotels, the conference halls are being put under pressure, police are being sent to the owners of these places: it’s systematic pressure, a maneuver aimed at erecting systematic barriers,” he said on Monday.
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