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German gov't says not involved in decision to ban Turkish meeting
March 3, 2017 / 11:21 AM / 7 months ago

German gov't says not involved in decision to ban Turkish meeting

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag addresses the Turkish Parliament during a debate in Ankara in this March 19, 2014. REUTERS/Umit Bektas/Files

BERLIN (Reuters) - The German federal government was not involved in Thursday’s decision by local authorities in the town of Gaggenau to ban an event where Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag was due to speak, a spokesman for the German foreign ministry said.

“It was a decision that the German federal government did not influence in any way, and could not have influenced, because it is a matter of state and local law over which we have zero influence,” spokesman Martin Schaefer told a regular government news conference.

He said German ambassador Martin Erdmann underscored that message during a “serious but friendly” discussion with Turkish authorities after being summoned to discuss the incident late on Thursday.

Schaefer said Germany would do everything it could to maintain an open dialogue with Turkey despite tensions over a range of issues, including Ankara’s arrest of a German-Turkish journalist.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Joseph Nasr

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