Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said yesterday that the Justice Ministry would welcome German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, if they wanted to address the public in Turkey.
"Turkey upholds freedom of speech and Merkel and Rutte can come to Turkey and talk [to the public] wherever they want," Bozdağ said.
In recent weeks, Germany has repeatedly banned meetings scheduled to be attended by Turkish ministers to meet Turks living in the country.
Last week, Dutch officials denied a landing permit to the aircraft carrying Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and assaulted the Minister of Family and Social Policies Ayşe Betül Sayan Kaya before blocking her from entering the Turkish consulate in the Netherlands' Rotterdam.
Commenting on these issues in his interview with the Anadolu Agency (AA) "Editor's Desk" on Tuesday, Justice Minister Bozdağ said "If German and Dutch leaders won't take any steps to prevent the violation of human rights in their country they might not be able to speak even in their own country."
Reiterating that Turkey upholds freedom of speech, Minister Bozdağ said "Merkel and Rutte can come to Turkey and talk [to the public] wherever they want."
Underlying that racism and discrimination do not exist in Turkey, Minister Bozdağ said that any country can organize meetings in Turkey easily, unlike Germany and the Netherlands, which violated political rights, the rule of law, democracy and fundamental human rights.
"If Europe does not take measures against these travesties, those who did not allow Turkish politicians to speak will also bar their own politician, who did not raise voices [during the controversies between Europe and Turkey]," the minister stated.
Regarding the upcoming referendum, on April 16, the justice minister expressed his confidence on the constitutional change, proposed under the presidential system.
"After observing the stance taken by Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and some other EU member states, I understand how important our attempt to change the system is," Bozdağ said.
The minister added that the current parliamentary system in Turkey did not provide political stability.
Pointing out that there was no way to explain the anxiety European countries have shown over Turkey's constitutional reforms, Bozdağ said ,some EU member states do not want to see Turkey gain political stability and economic strength.
"Those who want a weaker and unstable Turkey that cannot cope with terrorism, those who want a form of crises to persist here and want the country to rely on Europe at all times, does not support the "yes" vote. This is an arrogant and scandalous approach. We have to reject this kind of approaches," said Bozdağ adding that European countries engaged in trying to prevent constitutional reforms in Turkey did not support EU values.
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