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Turks in Germany start voting in referendum on constitution amendments
BY 2017-03-28 09:22:00

BERLIN, March 27 (Xinhua) -- Turks living in Germany on Monday began voting in a referendum that proposes amending Turkish constitution.

The referendum, if approved, will change Turkey's parliamentarism into a presidential regime, which will grant Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan more decisive power.

Polling stations were open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. till April 7 in several German cities like Berlin and Cologne. About 1.4 million eligible voters residing in Germany were called on by Turkish officials to turn out.

The ballot boxes are to brought back to Turkey where ballots will be counted together with the Turkish domestic vote which is set on April 16.

Some European local media saw the vote as a tool for Erdogan to enforce a one-man rule, fearing the country will be put under "dictatorship." However, many Turks said their decision was not related with Erdogan, but about a future functional mechanism.

Ahead of the crucial vote, several Turkish officials attempted to address the Turkish community at some German cities to rally support, but most of the events were blocked by local governments, citing security concerns.

The moves strained the already tense ties between Ankara and Berlin.

Erdogan criticized Germany sharply, accusing Berlin of "acting like Nazi," while German Chancellor Angela Merkel responded calling his remarks "absurd."

(Editor:Li Zhaoqi) (From:xinhua)
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