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Turkey's Erdogan Compares German Blocking Of Rallies With Nazi Period

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (file photo)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out on March 5 at Germany for blocking several rallies there ahead of an April vote in Turkey on boosting his powers as head of state, likening them to Nazi practices.

German authorities withdrew permission for two meetings in German cities last week that were part of a government campaign to win support from Germany's 1.5 million-strong Turkish community ahead of Turkey's April referendum on whether to increase Erdogan's powers.

"Germany, you have no relation whatsoever to democracy and you should know that your current actions are no different to those of the Nazi period. When we say that, they get disturbed. Why are you disturbed?" Erdogan said at a women's rally in Istanbul.

Turkey will hold an April 16 plebiscite on changing the constitution to give Erdogan an executive presidency along the lines of that in France or in the United States.

The Turkish government says the changes would bring stability while opponents fear it would hugely boost Erdogan's powers and drag Turkey into one-man rule.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters