Turkish party in Germany calls for election boycott

Published 21.09.2017 00:00
Updated 21.09.2017 00:33

İsmet Mısırlıoğlu, vice president of Germany's Innovation and Justice Party (BIG), founded by expat Turks living in the country, has repeated a call for boycott of the general elections scheduled for Sept. 24.

Mısırlıoğlu cited anti-democratic election campaigns centered on hostility against Turkey and extreme populism as the reasons behind his call.Speaking to journalists in front of the Germany Federal Parliament (Bundestag), Mısırlıoğlu said: "German political parties have carried out a campaign against the Turkish government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, particularly in the run up to the April 16 referendum." "The German government is also trying to pile up pressure on Turkey by saying that the Customs Union Agreement with Ankara may not be renewed. In reply, the BIG Party calls for a boycott of the general elections." He claimed that German parties were "not only dividing the society" with this attitude, but were also diverting public attention from the country's real problems such as "discrimination, racism and inequality."

Berlin-Ankara relations have recently been strained over several issues. Ankara barred German lawmakers from visiting German soldiers stationed at İncirlik Air Base citing Berlin's indifference in taking measures against members of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) and the PKK within its borders. The move was believed to be in response to Germany's position on Turkish deputies prior to the April 16 constitutional referendum, when Turkish officials were barred from holding rallies in Germany.

Even through Germany outlawed the PKK in 1993 authorities in Berlin have been reluctant to take strong measures against the terrorist group's propaganda, recruitment and fundraising activities in the country, despite repeated warnings from Ankara.

Following the tension, the German government transferred its refueling and reconnaissance aircraft from İncirlik to Azraq, Jordan.

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