July 31, 2016 / 1:26 PM / 4 years ago

German decision to block Erdogan speech is against EU values: Turkish minister

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - A German court decision preventing Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan from addressing a rally in Cologne via videoconference runs counter to democratic values and free speech, Turkey’s minister for EU affairs tweeted on Sunday.

“German Constitutional Court’s decision on the anti-coup rally in Cologne is an utter backsliding in freedom of speech and democracy,” Omer Celik wrote in English on his official Twitter account.

The rally has been called in support of Turkey’s democracy following a failed military coup on July 15-16. German media reports said authorities had intervened to prevent Erdogan from addressing the rally via videoconference due to concerns over public order.

Germany is home to Europe’s largest ethnic Turkish diaspora.

Reporting by David Dolan; Editing by Gareth Jones

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