German media has reported that Turkish President Erdogan canceled a visit to Berlin following a dispute over several campaign appearances by AKP politicians in Germany. According to “Frankfuter Rundschau”:
January 24, 2023 The scandal surrounding the election campaigns of Turkish AKP deputies in Germany has far-reaching implications. The Frankfurter Rundschau had reported exclusively on the case of AKP MP Mehmet Acikgöz, who had given a hate speech in a Grey Wolves mosque in Neuss, triggering a wave of outrage. The Foreign Office had summoned the Turkish ambassador and told him that “agitation and hate speech have no place in Germany and that foreign election campaign events must be approved by us in advance.” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is also likely to cancel his visit to Germany planned for the end of January. At least that is what the chairman of the AKP lobby organization UID, Köksal Kus, hinted at in a conference last Sunday. In addition, events in Hamburg. Mannheim and Cologne had been canceled, Kus announced. (Translated using deepl.com.)
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The AKP lobby organization Union of International Democrats (UID) says it has “brought together 124 AKP deputies and 25 AKP mayors with Turks in Europe” in the past six months. In Germany, the appearance by an AKP deputy in Neuss in January caused outrage. In his speech, the deputy denied the “right to live” to supporters of the Gülen movement and the Kurdish terrorist organization PKK and announced that he would “drag them out of their holes.” The German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution recently warned of conflicts that could arise in Germany in the wake of the elections in Turkey, which have been brought forward to May. The security agency is monitoring “Turkish nationalists and right-wing extremists” on the one hand and “supporters of extremist and terrorist organizations such as the PKK” on the other.
The UID describes itself as a voluntary NGO founded in 2004 that operates in several European countries. Its aims include increasing the economic, political, and social activities of Turks and “sister communities” abroad without alienating their identities and values and combatting Islamophobia. German media has described it as a lobbying group for President Erdoğan and his AKP that emphasizes Turkish values and customs. The German Office for the Protection of the Constitution monitors the UID, describing it as “nationalist” and incompatible with Germany’s free democratic order.