BERLIN, Germany (Kurdistan24) – A Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Member of Parliament on Tuesday said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan might not win the April referendum.
“Many Europeans here, unfortunately, think that Erdogan is invincible, but he is stoppable,” Hisyar Ozsoy, an HDP MP, told his German counterparts.
Ozsoy, along with four other HDP lawmakers, visited the German parliament this week.
He highlighted the importance of the proposed constitutional change in the April referendum which would extend constitutional powers to President Erdogan.
Ozsoy hoped the significance of the referendum would increase voters’ turnout in Turkey and among Turks living in the diaspora in Europe.
On Tuesday, the German government said it would allow 1.4 million Turks who live in Germany and are eligible to vote to cast their ballots at 13 voting sites between March 27-April 9.
Although experts say 60 percent of voters in Turkey support Erdogan, Oszoy pointed to the growing concerns among Turks from across the political spectrum about the proposed changes, which he said would “turn Turkey into a dictatorship.”
Amid escalating tensions between the two countries, the German foreign minister last Thursday warned his Turkish counterpart about comparisons with Nazi Germany.
Sigmar Gabriel said although he hoped to return to friendly relations with Turkey, there were “lines that should not be crossed.”
Meanwhile, President Erdogan has been trying to target German voters of Turkish descent.
However, Germany canceled rallies involving Turkish ministers after which Erdogan accused Germany of demonstrating “Nazi practices.”
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu repeated the Nazi comparison during a visit to Hamburg to encourage Turkish voters who live in Germany.
Additionally, Cavusoglu on Tuesday accused German authorities of encouraging Turkish voters in Germany to say “no” in the referendum, a plot he called anti-democratic.
Turkey has jeopardized its relations with most European countries, including Germany, after huge crackdowns on journalists, and mass arrests and purges that followed a failed coup attempt last July.
Some 100,000 civil servants and academics were also sacked.
Turkey has asked the US and Germany to deport people it suspects of being linked to the coup, but the Western countries have refused due to lack of evidence.
The mass killing of Kurdish civilians in Turkey, especially the entrapment of a group in a basement in Cizre, brought international condemnation upon Turkey for mistreating its population.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany