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Erdogan sees Turkey parliament restoring capital punishment

20 March 2017, 11:37 | Taylor George

Michael Probst Thousands of Kurds Protest Against Erdogan in Germany

Thousands of Kurds celebrate the Newroz spring festival and protest against Turkish President Erdogan

"Europe, do you have that kind of courage...?"

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday said he expected parliament to approve restoring capital punishment after the April 16 referendum on expanding his powers, a move that would end Ankara's bid to join the EU.

Over the past fortnight, the row has escalated, with Mr Erdogan repeatedly accusing Dutch and German politicians of acting like "Nazis" and claiming the "spirit of fascism" is rampant in Europe.

The Netherlands and Turkey are also now embroiled in a major diplomatic dispute after the Dutch banned two Turkish ministers from addressing rallies shortly before the election.

"This is the best answer to the rudeness shown to you, the enmity, the wrongs", he said in a televised speech in Eskisehir, a city south of Istanbul.

He, however, said "because of Brexit the situation now is completely different".

Colakoglu also said the divisive elections in The Netherlands - in which far-right leader Geert Wilders targeted an alleged Muslim threat to Dutch identity - had additionally fuelled tensions.

He said the dramatic statements and the recent fallout in relations with some European countries should be read as part of the efforts of Turkey's government to win votes in the upcoming referendum on granting the President more powers. Talks with the owner of the property and Turkish organisation UETD did not produce results, leading the police to intervene.

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"Whoever crosses the line should not believe that he is allowed to propagate his political views [here in Germany]", the foreign minister stressed.

On Friday, a Turkish daily newspaper, Gunes ('Sun'), added fuel to the fire with a front page on which German Chancellor Angela Merkel is depicted in full Nazi garb wearing Adolf Hitler's moustache.

A day after accusing the European Union of starting a "crusade" against Islam by the ruling, he said the court should "ban the kippa ban too" - although in theory the Jewish skullcap should be included in the decision which covers all religious symbols.

European Union officials have repeatedly warned Turkey that restoring capital punishment would spell the end of its decades-long bid to join the bloc.

Turkish leaders threaten to "blow" Europe's mind by sending over 15,000 refugees a month.

Brussels and Turkey signed a landmark agreement one year ago tomorrow under all migrants arriving in Greece are sent back across the Aegean, with Europe taking in one Syrian refugee from a Turkish camp for every person returned.

"Let us remind you that you can not play games in this region and ignore Turkey", he said.



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