Cologne forbids massive events at Erdogan appearance

The city of Cologne has refused approval for a major rally on the occasion of the opening of the Central Mosque Ditib by the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. De Ditib has not submitted a sufficient security concept, said Mayor of Cologne, Henriette Reker. Therefore, the event could not take place outdoors.

The opening ceremony with the Turkish president Erdogan is now taking place in the mosque. Only 500 invited guests are allowed to attend the ceremony.

In the immediate vicinity of the building complex, according to the police, approximately 5,000 visitors and visitors could have found their place. According to Ditib estimates, however, it is expected that up to 25,000 people will flow to the mosque. Unmanageable crowds should not be accepted without sufficient concept, Reker said.

A first draft was received with the authorities on Thursday and was overturned due to shortcomings. On Friday, Ditib presented a second, revised concept – but even this did not meet the high legal requirements.

Earlier it was already known that a meeting of Erdogan with Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU) of North Rhine-Westphalia can not take place as originally planned in Schloss Wahn in Cologne. This was decided by the regional court in Cologne after the owners of the castle resisted the planned use and requested a court order from the court.

The police are on the way to Erdogan in Cologne with more than 3000 officials in action. Thousands of people in the cathedral city want to protest against the visit on Saturday, including Alevis and Kurds. A total of at least 10,000 participants is expected in two large demonstrations.