German daily says Erdoğan to hold referendum rally in Germany in March

People wave Turkish flags during a campaigning event with the Turkish Prime Minister in Oberhausen, western Germany, on February 18, 2017. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım speaks to an expected crowd of some 10,000 people of Turkish origin in Germany to promote support for an April 16, 2017 constitutional referendum on expanding President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's powers

German daily Bild has claimed that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will hold a rally in the heavily Turkish-populated state of North-Rhine Westphalia in March to ask for support for a constitutional reform package that will be put to a public vote on April 16.

Bild based its report on the statement of a high-level bureaucrat in Ankara whose name it did not reveal.

The bureaucrat told the daily that Erdoğan will explain the executive presidency to Turks in Germany at a rally in North-Rhine Westphalia but that the exact location of the rally is not yet clear.

The constitutional reform package will bring an executive presidency to Turkey. Turkey currently has a parliamentary system of governance. Many fear that an executive presidency will create one-man rule and end the separation of powers.

The reform will enable Erdoğan to appoint and dismiss government ministers, take back the leadership of the ruling party and govern until 2029.

The plans foresee presidential and general elections in 2019, with a maximum of two five-year terms.

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