Thousands Expected at German pro-Erdogan Rally

As many as 30,000 participants are expected at the demonstration, along with a heavy police presence.

Supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attend a rally in Cologne, Germany on July 31, 2016.
Oliver Berg, AFP

Thousands of supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are expected to demonstrate in the German city of Cologne on Sunday amid heavy police presence.

As many as 30,000 participants are expected at the demonstration, which comes amid tensions following the failed coup attempt in Turkey and concern in Germany over the extent of the Turkish government's subsequent crackdown.

Four much smaller counter-protests are also planned, including one by a right-wing German group. Police plan to have 2,700 officers in place.
Germany is home to roughly 3 million people with Turkish roots.

The rally — under the slogan "Yes to democracy. No to the coup" — is being held on the other side of the Rhine river from downtown Cologne.
City police say Turkey's sports minister is expected to attend, but authorities imposed the condition that no messages from speakers elsewhere — such as politicians in Turkey — could be shown on a video screen. Germany's highest court rejected a complaint against that ban on Saturday night.

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said ahead of the demonstrations that there is "no place in Germany" for any side to "bring domestic political tensions from Turkey to us in Germany and intimidate people with other political convictions."