20-05-2022 11:36 PM Jerusalem Timing

Ankara Summons German Diplomat over Cologne Rally, Berlin Plays down Move

Ankara Summons German Diplomat over Cologne Rally, Berlin Plays down Move

Ankara Summons German Diplomat over Cologne Rally, Berlin Down Plays Move

Turkey summoned a senior German diplomat on Monday, a day after a rally in Cologne in support of the Turkish president who was not permitted to address the crowd by video conference.

"The charge d'affaires has been summoned to the Turkish foreign ministry at 1:00 pm (1000 GMT)," a spokeswoman for the German embassy told AFP, adding that the ambassador was not in town.

Tens of thousands of supporters of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan rallied in Cologne on Sunday to show their opposition to a failed coup on July 15, which aimed to unseat the Turkish leader.Germany flag

Hours before the demonstration, Germany's constitutional court rejected an application to show live speeches from Turkey by politicians including Erdogan, over fears they could work up the crowd.

The decision sparked anger in Turkey, with presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin calling the move unacceptable and a "violation of the freedom of expression and the right to free assembly".

For its part, Berlin played down Turkey's decision, saying such "invitations" were nothing extraordinary.

"In the day-to-day dealings between countries, it is a daily event -- normal for a representative of a country to be called in to the foreign ministry of his host country," Martin Schaefer, spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry told journalists.

"That happens in Turkey... That happens too in Berlin. Therefore that is not unusual," he said, adding that the meeting had likely to do with Sunday's demonstration.

Germany is home to three million ethnic Turks, making up Turkey's largest diaspora, and tensions over the coup have put authorities there on edge.

The tension comes at a time when relations between Germany and Turkey are already strained over the German parliament's decision to brand as genocide the World War I-era Armenian massacre by Ottoman forces.