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09:28, 28 April 2017 Friday
Update: 05:01, 17 March 2017 Friday

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Turkish PM points to 'real face' of European states
Turkish PM points to 'real face' of European states

Binali Yildirim says Germany, Netherlands and Switzerland restricting Turkish ministers from meeting expat communities  

World Bulletin / News Desk

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Thursday some countries were "embracing prohibitive practices" against those Turkish politicians campaigning in Europe for a "Yes" vote in Turkey’s upcoming referendum.

Addressing a rally in Turkey’s central Cankiri province ahead of the April 16 referendum on constitutional reforms, Yildirim said "No" campaigning had been allowed in some European countries but "Yes" activities had been restricted.

On April 16, the Turkish electorate will be asked to vote on an 18-article reform bill, which would also change the current parliamentary system to a presidential one.

The Yes campaign is backed by the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

Yildirim said Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland had "embraced prohibitive practices" when it came to Turkey despite these nations having promoted human rights and democracy for many years.

"We saw their real face this week," he told the crowd in Cankiri.

On Saturday, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya were banned from holding rallies or meeting expat Turks in the Dutch city of Rotterdam.

Later, when Turkish citizens in Rotterdam peacefully protested, they were met by police using batons, dogs and water cannons in what some analysts described as a disproportionate use of force.

Yildirim said some European countries were also "protecting the enemies of Turkey, the terrorists," but were not allowing Turkish ministers to address expat communities.

Earlier this month, Turkish ministers were also barred from holding public rallies in two German cities ahead of the referendum.

Nearly three million Turkish expats live in Germany and around half are eligible to vote in the referendum.

Around 2.5 million Turkish nationals across Europe are eligible to vote.



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