Erdogan says Turks in Europe should defy 'grandchildren of Nazism'

Erdogan says Turks in Europe should defy 'grandchildren of Nazism'
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters during a rally for the upcoming referendum in the Black Sea city of Rize, Turkey, April 3, 2017. REUTERS/Umit Bektas
4 years ago

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RIZE, Turkey — President Tayyip Erdogan on Monday (April 3) called on Turkish voters in Europe to defy the "grandchildren of Nazism" and back a referendum this month on changing the constitution.

The comments are likely to cause further ire in Europe.

Erdogan has repeatedly lashed out at European countries, including Germany, during his campaigning for the referendum, accusing them of "Nazi-like" tactics for banning his ministers from speaking to rallies of Turkish voters abroad.

Germany has been incensed by the references to its wartime past. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that the references must stop.

At a rally in the Black Sea province of Rize, Erdogan also said Turkey would reevaluate its accession process with the European Union after the referendum.

Erdogan is counting on the support of expatriates in Europe, including the 1.4 million Turks eligible to vote in Germany, to pass constitutional changes that would give him sweeping presidential powers.