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Belgium prepared to ban Turkish election rallies

10:41 13/03/2017

As more Turkish ministers head to Europe in the coming weeks to campaign in the run-up to Turkey's controversial referendum on 16 April that would give the country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan more power, Belgium's federal home affairs minister, Jan Jambon (pictured) has said that “our country is ready” to intervene should they want to hold such meetings in Belgium, writes Het Laatste Nieuws.

After German authorities last week banned Turkish officials from speaking at events in Germany, the Dutch government followed suit by denying two Turkish ministers entry to the Netherlands. The move provoked a major diplomatic incident with Turkey and led to clashes between police and hundreds of Erdoğan supporters in Rotterdam.

The unrest has carried over into Belgium in recent days, after the Union of European Tukish Democrats (UETD) said that it would hold an election rally in Belgium at the end of March. "We will intervene when necessary and desirable, and take it case by case," said Jambon, who stressed that the situation will be closely monitored.

"No one in this country wants to import Turkish politics, and the authorities are asked, within the confines of the law, to do everything in their power to prevent the disturbance of public order and safety," commented Jambon's cabinet in the newspaper.

Written by Robyn Boyle