Wednesday, September 30, 2015
President Erdogan denied hall for political rally in Brussels by Mayor.
President Erdogan denied hall for political rally in Brussels by Mayor. (BG).
The mayor of Brussels has refused permission to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for the use of an 18,000-seat arena to conduct a rally during his visit to the Belgian capital between Oct. 4 and 6.
The Union of European Turkish Democrats (UETD), known as the European arm of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), applied for permission to conduct the rally in the Palais 12 arena. Brussels Mayor Yvan Mayeur turned down the application on the grounds that the arena was designed for spectacles and concerts not political rallies.
“The Palais 12 arena is not designed for political meetings; it is used for concerts and exhibitions. We will not compromise that rule,” Mayeur said in a statement to L'Echo daily, a Belgian business newspaper.
Upon the mayor's refusal, the UETD decided to hold Erdoğan's rally in the Belgian city of Haaselt. However, Erdoğan is reported to be considering forgoing the rally in Haaselt as he held a similar rally there on May 10, when he spoke to Turkish expatriate voters hoping to garner support for the AK Party.
Erdoğan, who is scheduled to be in Brussels on Oct. 4 for the opening ceremony of the Europalia International Arts Festival, is hoping to conduct rallies in Europe under the slogan “Millions of breaths, one voice against terror” to denounce the recent rise of terrorist attacks by the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) in Turkey.
However, many believe the anti-terror rallies are being exploited by Erdoğan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu as a platform to garner votes for the AK Party. Recently, at a rally in the Yenikapı neighborhood of İstanbul, Davutoğlu shouted at the crowd, "You will work hard until Nov. 1 and you will give the AK Party, which is the symbol of unity in Parliament, the single-party government again." Hmmmm......Europe has enough of the Turkish Dictator pouring oil on the domestic fires.