It is Turks who will shape Europe's future: Erdogan

Fri 14 April 2017 05:10 GMT | 09:10 Local Time

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Europe's future depends on the Turks who live there, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a large public rally on Thursday.

"Five million of our brothers who have settled there from Turkey will shape the future of Europe," Erdogan told a rally in the Black Sea province of Giresun ahead of Sunday’s referendum on constitutional changes, according to Anadolu Agency.

Erdogan said that in recent months the paint has been wiped off Europe's face and "now they are beginning to show that they are anti-Islam. They have no tolerance for Muslims."

He also said after being closed to Turkish government ministers, some European countries have opened their doors to members of the terror groups that Turkey is fighting.

The president spoke at length over the rift between Turkey and some European governments after German and Dutch authorities barred rallies by Turkish ministers who favor a presidential system.

While European countries barred rallies in support of the Yes campaign, they allowed Turkish opposition figures who back the No side to hold demonstrations without hindrance.

Sunday’s referendum in Turkey addresses a host of constitutional reforms that would hand wide-ranging executive powers to the president.

The post of prime minister would be abolished and the president would also be allowed to retain ties to a political party.

Other changes include the minimum age of parliamentary candidates reduced to 18 and the number of deputies increased to 600.

Also, simultaneous parliamentary and presidential elections for a five-year term would be held in November 2019 under the new Constitution.

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