10,000 supporters of Turkey’s president Erdogan gathered in the König-Pilsener-Arena in Oberhausen, Germany, on Saturday to attend a speech by Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim. Yildirim was campaigning for a “Yes” vote to Erdogan’s constitutional reform which is set to abolish the office of prime minister and strengthen Erdogan’s one-man rule. “Those who love their country say yes” was the slogan of Saturday’s event.
Three million Turkish citizens live in Germany. 60 percent of those who cast a vote in Turkish elections support Erdogan and his Islamist party. Campaign stops by Erdogan and other senior figures of the ruling AK Party in Germany have become a political tradition in recent years. In 2010, Erdogan held a rally in Cologne in which he called assimilation a “crime against humanity“.
In other news, Deniz Yücel, a journalist with dual German and Turkish citizenship and a correspondent for the newspaper Die Welt is still in Turkish police custody after he was arrested in Istanbul on February 17th for alleged “support of a terrorist organisation“. German chancellor Angela Merkel reacted swiftly and demanded a “fair and lawful treatment” – a statement which surely will send shockwaves through the Presidential Complex in Ankara.
Just a few days ago, homes of clerics of the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (Ditib) in Germany were searched by the police after it had become known that they work as secret agents and are spying on Turkish citizens in Germany.
According to the Berlin-based expert on Turkey, Ralph Ghadban, the primary mission of Ditib is to “install the Turkish government’s official version of Islam” in Germany.
In Oberhausen, “the crowd was in uproar with excitement“, Germany`s newspaper Bild reports:
“Over and over again it cheered ‚Allahu akbar’ (Allah is greater) and even demanded the reinstatement of death penalty.”
— hadi ya (@hab_kein_nick) February 18, 2017
H/t reader kevin a.
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