Turkey has been actively supporting the holding of rallies in European nations to persuade Turks to vote in favor of expanding the presidential powers. However, the EU countries are not quite happy with the state of affairs. Almost all the countries where the rallies are taking place have categorically stated that they do not support the actions. The rallies come right before the referendum that is to be held in mid- April where Turkey will decide if it will continue with its current political structure or transform into a presidential republic. Clearly, this is a major decision that could turn the fortunes of the country and a lot is riding on the outcome of the referendum.
EU leaders criticize Turkish stance
Many EU leaders have made their views felt that the Turkish government should tone down its actions in this respect. The latest in the line of locations where the rallies have been banned is Netherlands. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has responded to bans on rallies in quite a dramatic fashion by comparing Germany and the Netherlands to Nazis and describing the ban as Nazism. Reacting to these comments, the German foreign minister has also responded with a statement about hoping that sense will prevail soon in Turkey.
Meanwhile, the repercussions of the President’s comments have had far reaching impact and this is clear by the fact that the Denmark premier’s meeting with Erdogan has been put off, after the recent developments. He went so far as to put in words his fears for the safeguarding of democratic principles in Turkey. France is currently one of the handful of locations where the rallies have not been banned and where they have been conducted with success.
Germany hardens stance against Turkish rallies
In Germany, the sentiment against Turkey’s move to hold rallies has already met with distaste but now it appears that the stance will harden. Chancellor Angela Merkel did announce that she had not issues with Turkish ministers taking part in the rallies but insisted that such rallies be announced in the appropriate manner. Meanwhile, her interior minister seems to be taking a rather contrasting position with his statement that he was not in favor of any Turkish political gatherings on German soil. The Finance Minister weighed in in his favor with an opinion that Turkey had, with these rallies, made it difficult to progress any further in cooperative actions between the two countries.