Turkey's Threat To Scrap EU Refugee Deal Questioned

EPA  VALDRIN XHEMAJ

EPA VALDRIN XHEMAJ

Legislation to restore capital punishment would still need to be signed by the president, and Mr Erdogan said he would do so immediately.

The Netherlands and Turkey are also now embroiled in a major diplomatic dispute after the Dutch banned two Turkish ministers from addressing rallies shortly before the election.

Europe has become increasingly Islamophobic and xenophobic, with racist sentiments and attacks against Muslims and non-white refugees, migrants and even naturalised citizens increasing at an alarming rate.

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.

"Have five children, not three".

Erdogan said there was no difference between the tactics used by the police "and the gladiators in ancient Rome". "Patience is needed", said Bahceli, who supports Erdogan's bid for a presidential system in Turkey.

In January, Turkey called on the European Union to resume negotiations on Ankara's accession to the bloc, after the talks halted following a failed military coup in the country in July 2016.

Analysts said he wants to be seen as standing up to Europe so he can sweep up nationalist votes ahead of the April 16 referendum on constitutional changes.

He also warned Turkish politicians that they could be banned from holding rallies in Germany if they do not stick to German laws: "Whoever crosses these lines cannot expect to be allowed to propagate his political ideas here".

Also Friday, a Turkish pro-government newspaper ran a front-page mock-up of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Nazi uniform under the slogan "Frau Hitler". Berlin reacted by saying it will not take part "in a game of provocation".

"They are hypocrites!" said Erdogan.

European Union officials have repeatedly warned Turkey that restoring capital punishment would spell the end of its decades-long bid to join the bloc.

In another blackmail threat interior minister Suleyman Soylu said he would "blow the minds" of Brussels leaders by sparking a fresh refugee crisis unless they cave into his demands.

The deal, which was reached on March 18 past year, substantially reduced the flow of migrants to the EU which had peaked in 2015, and was exploited by the European far right. "You have to keep in mind that you can not design a game in this region in spite of Turkey", Soylu said.

The EU says it expects Turkey to continue implementing the deal.

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