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Turkish Premier Holds Pro-Erdogan Rally in Germany

The rally was held in Oberhausen, western Germany, on Feb. 18.The rally was held in Oberhausen, western Germany, on Feb. 18.

Turkey’s prime minister drew criticism on Saturday for holding a rally in Germany urging Turks there to support a referendum that would expand President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s powers.

Binali Yildirim also told the several thousands of people at a stadium in Oberhausen, in western Germany, that Turkey would track down the participants in last July’s failed military coup “in all the holes where they are hiding”, AFP reported.

Germany is home to about three million people of Turkish origin, the legacy of a massive “guest worker” program in the 1960s and 70s, and the biggest population of Turks in the world outside Turkey.

They will be able to vote in the April 16 referendum, which would discard the post of prime minister for the first time in Turkey’s history.

Critics say the new presidential system will cement a one-man rule in the country.

Some 750 opponents of Erdogan rallied peacefully near the Oberhausen stadium, according to police.

Sevim Dagdelen, a lawmaker in Germany’s far-left Die Linke party, called the rally “a publicity campaign for a dictator”.

Yildirim met Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier Saturday during the Munich Security Conference.

Yildirim met US Vice President Mike Pence at the conference on Saturday.

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