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Germany's Gabriel says agrees with Turkish PM on need to improve ties

Germany's Gabriel says agrees with Turkish PM on need to improve ties

But many campaign rallies were banned by local authorities.

Turkey abolished the death penalty in 2004 as part of a campaign for European Union membership.

Embassies and consulates enjoy certain privileges under the 1961 Vienna Convention and Turkey would very likely want to hold voting on their premises to reach some 1.5 million expatriate Turkish voters.

However, the death penalty is banned in all European Union states, which means the initiative could put an end to Turkey's EU membership prospects.

Since the July 2016 failed coup in Turkey, 414 military personnel, diplomats, judges and other high-ranking Turkish officials have sought political asylum in Germany, according to interior ministry figures published by the three German media.

Relations between two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies Turkey and Germany became strained during the referendum campaign in April to boost President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's powers.

"We usually don't answer hypothetical questions but this question is unfortunately not so hypothetical as it is being discussed in Turkey", Merkel said in an interview with German WDR broadcaster on Tuesday.

Freund asserted the Turkey of today would never be asked to join, but "Turkey has such an important strategic position that we can not afford to break up all talks - although I think accession talks make no sense under the present circumstances". "There is no question of breaking off relations with the EU", Celik said after talks with EU foreign affairs head Federica Mogherini in Brussels.

A deal brokered between Brussels and Ankara previous year that allows failed asylum seekers in Greece to be returned to Turkey has helped to quell the EU's refugee crisis.

Ms Zeybecki said: "That shows how much potential we have". She received support even from Martin Schulz, the leader of the Social Democratic Party and her main challenger in September elections.

Some of those who sought asylum in the country included North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military officers stationed in Belgium and a military attaché at the Turkish Embassy in an African country, the report said.

The failed coup led to massive crackdown on opposition figures in Turkey and saw thousands of people, including military officers, judges and academics arrested.


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