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The German region of Saarland has banned election campaigning by foreign politicians, in a move which could escalate the escalating political row between EU countries and Turkey over Turkish politicians’ campaign appearances.

Saarland, which is holding its own regional election next week, becomes the first of Germany’s 16 regions to impose such a ban since Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent his ministers out to campaign in Turkish communities in the EU for support in a referendum on boosting his presidential powers.

Previously, several German local council have called off planned Turkish ministers’ campaign meetings on technical grounds, such as fire safety. Angela Merkel’s government has denied considering a blanket entry ban for fear of antagonising Mr Erdogan but ministers have criticised Mr Erdogan’s rough tactics, not least his claim that German officials were resorting to “Nazi” methods to cancel rallies.

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