The German authorities decided a couple of months ago to ban the election campaign activities of third-country politicians in Germany. The target of course was not really the politicians of third-country parties and not even Turkish politicians in general but the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in particular.
Germany interfered in Turkish politics in 2017 when President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was pushing for constitutional changes that eventually were approved in a referendum on April 16. German authorities banned AK Party people and Turkish ministers from participating in campaigns in Germany in favor of the constitutional changes, while they gave a free hand to those Turkish politicians and activists who opposed the changes. German state TV even campaigned against the changes running programs in Turkish.
Now the Germans have banned Turkish politicians to attend rallies or political events ahead of the June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections. Yet the bans seem to have targeted the AK Party, whose political workers stationed in Germany have been trying to run a low-profile campaign. The Germans have consistently prevented these workers from organizing any kind of events.
Yet on the other side, the PKK, which is regarded as a terrorist organization by Germany, has been given a free hand to campaign through its shadow associations and organizations on behalf of the pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP). Seven HDP ex-deputies have been parading around in Germany under the wings of the PKK campaigning for the June 24 elections on behalf of the HDP. They attend special rallies, meetings and conferences. They head several demonstrations as the German authorities turn a blind eye to this charade.
Much to the dismay of Ankara, the German authorities allowed the PKK to stage a rally to boost support for the HDP in Cologne. Ankara protested the move, and the Germans realized they had gone too far and thus banned the former HDP deputies from addressing the rally.
In fact, the rally was a flop. The PKK wanted to mass tens of thousands of people at the rally, but only about a thousand people turned up according to Cologne police. HDP politicians Ahmet Yıldırım and Tuğba Hezer who were to address the crowd were not permitted to talk by the German police.
A political ban on Turkish politicians is a scandal on its own. There are about four million Turks in Germany, which is a huge minority. They will be voting in the June 24 elections, which means they should be allowed to listen to all Turkish political parties and decide on their choice. When you deny all this then you simply interfere in the democratic process.
The other sad point is the fact that the PKK is being given such a free hand to function in Germany as the German authorities boast about their fight against terrorism. They know well that the PKK is behind so many criminal activities on their soil, ranging from human trafficking to drug smuggling, extortion and violence. Yet, the PKK is being protected by left-wing politicians and the Greens; thus, they freely operate in the streets of Germany.