Banning campaign rallies by Turkish government officials in Germany

Published: 03 July 2017 Author: Stefan Talmon

For many years, foreign government officials and politicians were allowed to address the electorate of their own State at events in Germany. For example, in recent years Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo—gan and other Turkish government officials on several occasions addressed compatriots living in Germany, home to an estimated 1.4 million eligible Turkish voters and a 3 million-strong ethnic Turkish community.

Visits by foreign government officials and politicians were usually notified in advance by the foreign country’s embassy in Berlin but the Federal Government took the view that such visits did not require prior approval. On 17 February 2017, the spokesperson for the Federal Foreign Office explained: “There is no request for approval. But that is also not required by law.” According to the Foreign Office, no decisions were taken at the federal government level. Campaign rallies by foreign politicians and government officials were seen as a matter purely of the German Assembly Act and administrative law more generally which were administered by the federal states and local authorities. That Germany, like any other sovereign State, could decide on who enters or leaves the country, was seen in this context more as a theoretical possibility. In response to a parliamentary question, the Federal Government replied that since the year 2000 (the date referred to in the question) it had never denied entry to a foreign politician or government official who wanted to speak at a campaign rally or other political event. (more…)

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No German support for British sovereignty over Gibraltar

Published: 10 May 2017 Author: Stefan Talmon

During the War of the Spanish Succession in August 1704 Anglo-Dutch forces captured Gibraltar from Spain. In the Treaty of Utrecht of 2/13 July 1713 Spain formally ceded Gibraltar to Great Britain. Article X of the Treaty provided:

“The Catholic King does hereby, for himself, his heirs and successors, yield to the crown of Great Britain the full and entire propriety of the town and castle of Gibraltar, together with the port, fortifications, and forts thereunto belonging; and he gives up the said propriety to be held and enjoyed absolutely with all manner of right for ever, without any exception or impediment whatsoever.”

Gibraltar became a British Overseas Territory. In the 18th century Spain on several occasions unsuccessfully tried to recapture Gibraltar by force. Since then, all Spanish governments have tried to reclaim the enclave from the United Kingdom. The question of sovereignty over Gibraltar has been an irritant in the relations between the two countries for more than 300 years. (more…)

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