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German State Bans Foreign Campaigning Amid EU-Turkey Row


A supporter of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan holds up a picture during a rally in Cologne last year.

The governor of a German state on March 14 announced she was banning political campaigning by foreign politicians as a row between Turkey and European countries escalates.

"Internal Turkish conflicts have no place in Germany. Election appearances which put at risk domestic peace in our country should be banned," said Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the premier of the western German state of Saarland.

She said in a statement that each of Germany's 16 federal states was allowed to ban political activities which put at risk the peaceful coexistence of Germans and foreigners.

Saarland would use "all opportunities" to prevent such rallies, the statement said.

So far, Germany's federal government has said that it won't impose a blanket ban on members of the Turkish government holding political rallies in the country.

Kramp-Karrenbauer, who faces a state election on March 26, is a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right Christian Democratic Union.

It's unclear whether Turkish officials had any plans to campaign in Saarland, a small state on the French border.

Dutch authorities have prevented two Turkish ministers from holding rallies for Turkish citizens living in the Netherlands ahead of a referendum on April 16 to enhance President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's powers.

Erdogan previously called the Dutch "Nazi remnants" and accused the Netherlands of "fascism."

Based on reporting by Reutersm, AP, and AFP
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