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    5. Socialists ban Brussels mayor Natskona from meeting with far-right Turks

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    Socialists ban Brussels mayor Natskona from meeting with far-right Turks

    Emir Kir, who is up for re-election in June, closed the NatCon conference. Photo: Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

    The mayor who tried to shut down the NatCon conference in Brussels was a socialist who was kicked out of the party after meeting with two far-right colleagues from Turkey.

    Emir Kier, the little-known mayor of Brussels' relatively run-down Saint-Josse-ten-Noude district, rose to international prominence on Tuesday after he signed a decree shutting down a right-wing event being held in his area.< /p>

    His move that prompted police blockade of the venue, where speakers such as Nigel Farage and Suella Braverman were speaking, was later overturned by Belgium's highest civil court.

    But in the run-up to Belgium's elections in June, it meant his name was printed on the first newspaper pages from London to Washington.

    Cyr, 55, has been mayor of Saint-Josse for more than 11 years, appealing to the Turkish authorities in the area. voters.

    He is the son of Turkish immigrants who came to work in Belgian mines in the 1960s. Elected in December 2012, he became Belgium's first non-European mayor.

    Six years later he was brought before the committee the vigilance of the Brussels Socialist Party, which he represented at that time.

    Mr Kir was forced to explain why he met with a delegation of six Turkish mayors, two of whom represented MHP, a nationalist party with close ties to the far-right Gray Wolves.

    It was believed that he the “cordon sanitaire” that protects Belgian politics from the far right has been broken.

    Mehmet Sari, one of the Turkish officials, praised the meeting in Brussels, paying particular attention to Mr. Keer.

    The mayor Saint-Josset tried to brush it off as a meeting organized by a politically neutral association of Turkish cities.

    But this excuse did not work, and he was expelled from the Socialists.

    Although Mr. Kier was elected to represent Belgium, his pro-Turkish views have often been controversial.

  • Armenian Genocide
  • He has been accused of denying the Armenian Genocide , which led to the deaths of thousands when the Ottoman Turks deported Armenians from eastern Anatolia during the First World War.

    Mr Kier did not attend the minute's silence in honor of the victims held at the Brussels regional parliament before the debate on the topic.

    On Tuesday he followed two other local mayors of the Belgian capital who succeeded in pressuring venues in their areas not to host NatCon.

    Claridge's owner did not stopped Mr. Kier's attempts to do the same.

    The mayor ordered the event to be closed for reasons of public safety, for which he was responsible.

    Belgium's highest court ultimately ruled that it illegal because it is aimed at suppressing freedom of speech guaranteed by the country's constitution.

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