EU leaders have criticised Turkey, amid a growing row related with the Turkish government's attempts to hold rallies in Europe. Germany and Netherlands stay firm against Turkey, thus, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused both countries of "Nazism" after officials blocked rallies in those countries. Dutch PM Mark Rutte said that his comments are "unacceptable", while Germany's foreign minister stated he hoped Turkey would return to its senses.
Denmark's leader postponed a planned meeting with Mr Erdogan. Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen stated he was concerned that democratic principles are under pressure in Turkey. The BBC reports that the rallies aim to encourage Turks living in Europe to vote yes in a referendum increasing the president's powers.
Ties between the Turkish and Dutch leaders became strained at the weekend after two Turkish ministers were barred from addressing rallies in Rotterdam. Mr Erdogan likened the Netherlands to a banana republic. He said that he had thought that Nazism was over, but he was wrong, he added that Nazism is alive in the West.
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Mr Rutte demanded Mr Erdogan apologise for likening the Dutch to Nazis. German ministers have also appeared to harden their rhetoric against Turkey. Despite Chancellor Angela Merkel saying her government was not opposed to Turkish ministers attending rallies in Germany, her interior minister stated he was opposed to Turkish political gatherings in Germany. Turkey is holding a referendum on 16 April on whether to turn from a parliamentary to a presidential republic, more similar to the United States.
If the referendum is successful, it would give more powers to the president, allowing him to appoint ministers, choose the majority of senior judges, prepare the budget and enact certain laws by decree. The president would be able to announce a state of emergency and dismiss parliament. There are 5.5 million Turks living outside the country, with 1.4 million Turkish voters in Germany.