Germany: Security heightened ahead of huge Pro Erdogan demo in Cologne

Police in Cologne have tightened security in preparation for the thousands of supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expected to rally in the west German city on Sunday afternoon, to voice their support for the Turkish president and to protest against the attempted military coup, which took place in the country on the night of July 15.
The rally has been organised by the Union of European-Turkish Democrats (UETD), a pro-Erdogan group. According to their estimates, some 20,000 people are expected to take to the streets of Cologne in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Several smaller counter-demonstrations, included those organised by the far-right party Pro NRW and the HoGeSa (Hooligans against Salafists) group, have been granted permission by the German authorities to be held on the same day in Cologne. Over 2,300 police officers, including Turkish speakers, are to be on duty to ensure public safety and prevent violence from breaking out between the opposing parties.
Tensions have risen in Germany, with the world's largest Turkish diaspora of over 3 million, between supporters and opponents of Erdogan following the failed coup in July. Ankara demanded that German authorities hand over alleged supporters of Fethullah Gulen, who Erdogan has accused of being behind the coup.
Meanwhile many European politicians unleashed criticism towards the Turkish leader for the unprecedented crackdown following the failed coup, as more than 18,000 military, police officers, judges, prosecutors and journalists have already been detained on allegations of supporting the putschists.

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