Turkey planning another rally in Germany ahead of referendum

Supporters of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan wave Turkish flags during a pro-government protest in Cologne, Germany July 31, 2016. © Thilo Schmuelgen / Reuters

Turkey’s Presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin has said Ankara is planning to hold another rally in Germany ahead of the constitutional referendum to be held on 16 April.

Speaking to CNN Turk on Sunday Kalin said there was a possibility Turkish ministers could hold another rally in Germany, a move that threatens to further exacerbate tensions between the two states.

The influential spokesperson also added that “Turkophobia” was on the rise in Europe but that Turkey remains a friendly country to foreign investment, Reuters reported.

Ankara has been accused of ramping up tensions with several EU states ahead of the referendum to consolidate its voter base.

Commentators have said the ruling Justice and Development (AKP) Party has exhausted its enemies within the country and had to create enmity outside Turkey’s shores.

The 18-article reform up for vote in April will, if it passes, give President Erdogan executive powers and change Turkey into a ‘presidential system’.