Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdag's strong reaction to Germany 02.03.2017

Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdağ made a public release on the cancellation of his meeting in Gaggenau, Germany where he would address the public. He made the following explanation:

We were going to meet the Turkish community living in Gaggenau, Baden-Württemberg in Germany at 19.00 today and I would have the opportunity to address the Turkish community. The arrangements were made, permissions were granted, however the municipality cancelled the meeting on account of the lack of parking lots, a few hours before the meeting. Of course, our citizens there tried to organize the meeting somewhere else, but then the police did not allow the meeting to take place there. Unfortunately, today we couldn't hold the meeting for which all the arrangements were made.

IT IS UNACCEPTABLE THAT THEY COULDN'T STAND OUR MEETING

I would like to underline here once more that, the German authorities that always preach about human rights, democracy, rule of law and freedom of expression and keep accusing, criticizing everyone but themselves on these issues, couldn't stand a meeting for the Turkish community. This is unacceptable. That is to say, holding meetings and freedom of expression are rights safeguarded under the European Convention on Human Rights. These are fundamental rights. They are one of the indispensable features of the EU, Council of Europe and the democratic states of law. You don't let people assemble, you don't allow them to express themselves, people want to listen to a person addressing an audience, but you don't let this happen. But you always say that you have democracy and freedom of expression.

IT IS NOT APPROPRIATE IN A STATE OF LAW

With all due respect, I am speaking frankly here, this cannot be accepted in democracies, this cannot be how the freedom of expression is applied, this is unbelievable in such a state of law. Can you imagine a democracy where a minister cannot express himself? Can there be a democracy in which a community is not allowed to hold a meeting? I regret to say that today, we witnessed that these happened and we saw the examples of these situations in the past, too.

EVERYTHING IS ALLOWED FOR THE TERRORISTS

Remember the time when the President of the Republic of Turkey was going to address the Turkish community in Germany via video conference, but it was not permitted. However, Germany allowed the terrorist leader Murat Karayılan to speak to his followers in Germany via video conference when he was in Qandil. So the terrorists can express themselves, they have the right to hold meetings, to demonstrate, they have the freedom of expression, but interesting enough, the minister of a democratic country was not granted the permission to voice his opinions in a meeting. I wonder what kind of democracy that is, everything is allowed for the terrorists, they are provided all  kinds of security and freedom, they are well-supported.

THIS IS NOT CALLED DEMOCRACY

However, representatives of legitimate governments are prevented from their right to express themselves. This is not democracy. This is not fulfilling the requirements of a state of law. This is the reflection of a country that couldn't comprehend and internalize democracy. They have always been speaking about democracy, the law, freedom of expression, human rights from their perspective, however those concepts don't depend from country to country, they are universal principles and valid across the world.

TURKISH JUDICIARY IS INDEPENDENT AND IMPARTIAL

Whenever an incident happens in Turkey concerning the judiciary, everyone tends to criticize the government and the judiciary of Turkey. They are suggesting that "the judiciary shouldn't do this or that"... But when anything arises as regards their judiciary, when Turkish government demands something from them, for example the extradiction of criminals, they keep telling that their judiciary is independent, their judiciary is impartial... Turkish judiciary makes decisions, afterwards everyone is attacking us. Turkish judiciary is impartial and independent, just as the judiciary in Europe and in Germany. The decisions of Turkish judiciary are alleged to be political decisions. They are trying to humiliate the Turkish judiciary and Turkish law. Unfortunately, we observe that Turkish judiciary is reflected as highly politicized. I would like to say that this allegation is very offending and worrying.

IF THEY WANT TO SEE THE DEMOCRACY IN TURKEY, THEY ARE MOST WELCOME IN TURKEY

Turkey is a state of  law, it has a robust democracy, human rights and the freedom of expression are respected highly. Today, in Turkey, everyone can organize meetings to voice their opinions. Whoever wants to have a meeting, organize demonstrations or make explanations, can do that wherever they want in Turkey, meeting halls of our municipalities are open for them, they are most welcome in Turkey. They should come and see the democratic situation in Turkey. However, today we witnessed an attitude which is inconsistent with democracy, human rights or European Convention on Human Rights.

WE CANNOT ACCEPT AN ANTIDEMOCRATIC APPROACH

I heard that Nihat Zeybekçi's program was also cancelled. We cannot accept such an antidemocratic approach. These are not supposed to happen in democratic countries. Freedom of expression and freedom of assembly are guaranteed in every democratic country. These guarantees must be provided by the state itself, this duty falls to the state's bodies.

THE TERRORISTS ARE PROVIDED WITH EVERY OPPORTUNITY

As far as Turkey is concerned, these rights are mostly overlooked or ignored, but when it comes to terrorists operating against Turkey, they are provided with every opportunity. This is not a right attitude. This is a huge double standard. Democracy and human rights cannot be associated with this attitude.

I CANCELLED MY MEETING WITH THE GERMAN MINISTER OF JUSTICE

If I had been to Gaggenau in Baden-Württemberg today, I was supposed to have a meeting with the German Minister of Justice at his request. We had had our meeting scheduled. We were going to discuss some issues. However, when the meeting in Gaggenau was annulled, then I cancelled the meeting with the minister of justice. The meeting is not going to happen. We are going back to Turkey.

Judiciary of Turkey