Turkey Threatens To Send '15K Refugees A Month' To Germany And Netherlands
European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker warned Sunday that any return of the death penalty in Turkey would be a "red line" in the country's stalled EU membership bid.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is courting Turks overseas for support in a referendum due to be held on 16 April that would reform Turkey's parliamentary democracy into an executive presidency, similar to the United States.
Juncker warned that talks on Turkey's accession to the European Union would automatically end if Ankara were to re-introduce the death penalty.
His remarks came as Ankara was locked in a bitter standoff with Europe after Germany and the Netherlands blocked Turkish ministers from campaigning for a "yes" vote ahead of the April 16 referendum on expanding Erdogan's powers. Ankara has slammed the cancelations as an overreaction, branding German and Dutch leaders "Nazi remnants" who were proponents of "fascist practices". "I am of the mind that we do not need to respond to all provocation with a counter-provocation", he said.
The Turkish strongman said he did not care what Europe thought about such a move.
"From here I say to my citizens, I say to my brothers and sisters in Europe. We have done everything for that and the Turkish people are fed up of waiting", he said, preferring to stay anonymous.
He urged voters to consider that the referendum will not change the government, but rather will change the Constitution, something "not as easily amended as other laws".
No judicial executions have taken place since October 25, 1984 when leftwing militant Hidir Aslan was hanged following the 1980 military coup. Dozens of protesters unfurled banned flags of imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan at the rally.
Last weekend, just days before the Dutch election, police in Rotterdam used horses and dogs to disperse pro-Erdogan protesters demonstrating against the ban on Turkish ministers.
"Shame on you! You are all the same", he said. Roughly 1.4 million Turks in Germany and approximately 380,000 in the Netherlands have the right to vote on the potential legislation.
Gabriel said he was always skeptical of the idea of Turkish EU membership.
"Turkey is now further away from European Union membership than ever before", Gabriel toldDer Spiegel in an interview, adding that he has always been apprehensive about Turkey's accession bid, but "was rather a minority in Social Democratic Party [SPD]".
"Turkey has tried on different levels to convince us of that fact, but they have not succeeded", Bruno Kahl told Der Spiegel.
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