German Justice Minister pens letter to Bozdağ over meeting ban

German and Turkey in war of words over political rallies

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan accused Germany of "nazi practices" after authorities canceled political rallies meant to show support for Turkish citizens in the country.

"I thought that Nazi methods were a thing of the past in Germany", an angry Erdogan told reporters on Sunday evening.

"The obstruction of meetings in Germany is a sign of how much Germany and the West are displaying double standards", Cavusoglu said.

"We don't want to see their fascist actions", Erdogan added.

There was a bomb scare at the town hall in Gaggenau after officials withdrew permission for Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag to address a rally.

In protest, Bozdag cancelled his meeting with German justice minister Heiko Maas in Karlsruhe.

However, Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci spoke at large events in Leverkusen and Cologne on Sunday while protesters stood outside.

The German foreign ministry urged Ankara to refrain from "pouring oil on the fire".

Meanwhile, the two countries' foreign ministers are due to meet this week.

"We support freedom of expression - and we can criticize Turkey", Merkel said. "We are mistaken. You lecture us about democracy but then you don't let this country's ministers speak there".

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu accused the German government of backing opposition to Mr Erdogan's planned constitutional changes.

Ties between Turkey and the European Union are strained over a number of issues related to human rights and the rule of law, including Erdogan's treatment of dissenters, critical media and the country's Kurdish community.

Yucel, who has both Turkish and German citizenship, was detained on February 14 after his reports about a hacker attack on the email account of Turkey's energy minister, according to Die Welt.

Critics say the new executive powers would give rise to an authoritarian rule and help Erdogan consolidate his power grab after last year's failed coup and following crackdown.

Seibert also said that Turkish politicians are still allowed to speak in Germany, provided they are open about their intentions and don't bring Turkish conflicts into the country.

The cancellation of the political rallies, which aimed to garner votes from the 1.5 million Turks residing in Germany for Erdogan in the April 16 referendum, prompted Turkish anger.