European nations block Turkish election campaigns on their soil

Turkish head of state Erdogan has expressed anger, saying Austria's Kurz "will pay a price."

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The governments of Germany, Netherlands, and Austria announced this week that they would not want to see Turkish parties hold election campaigns on their soil targeting Turks of dual citizenship.

A spokesperson for Germany’s Foreign Office, Rainer Breul, said events held by foreign officials in Germany required a permit from the Federal Government, Reuters reported on Friday.

“The permit is, in principle, not granted in less than three months before the date of elections or referendum,” Breul stated.

Turkey’s snap general and presidential elections called for by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are to take place on June 24, in a little over two months.

Steffen Seibert, a German spokesperson for Chancellor Angela Merkel, said there were no plans for the leading European Union (EU) nation to receive a visit by Erdogan who vies for votes from hundreds of thousands of German Turks maintaining ties with Turkey.

Relations between Berlin and Ankara remain strained due to German refuge to dissident Turks and Kurds as well as accusations of “Nazism and support for terrorists” leveled against Germany by Erdogan.

Dutch authorities were also not welcoming of any visits by Turkish leaders.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte thought that campaign visits by Turkish ministers and members of Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) could lead to disruption of public order, the public-funded Dutch Broadcast Foundation, NOS, reported.

Last year, in the run-up to a referendum on expanding Erdogan’s powers, a diplomatic crisis blew up when a Turkish Minister entered the Netherlands without notifying Dutch authorities and attempted to hold a political campaign event.

The minister’s deportation led to Turkish riots and clashes with police in Rotterdam.

In the weeks before the referendum, Erdogan and his ministers heightened the tone of criticism against the Dutch, calling them “Nazis.”

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said an appearance by Turkish officials was “undesirable” in comments to a radio.

“If Turkey plans to perform in Austria again this time, I can only say clearly that these performances are undesirable and we will not allow them,” he said according to Austrian media.

“The Turkish leadership under Erdogan has for years tried to instrumentalize communities of Turkish origin in Europe; this has been the case for Erdogan’s campaign events and those of his supporters.”

In response, Erdogan said Kurz would “pay a price.”

“I do not need to mention his name. The actions this person heading Austria takes will backfire against him. They will pay a price in the international arena,” Erdogan said on Saturday.

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany