77 percent of Germans against Erdoğan referendum rally in Germany

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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 Yildirim 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 Erdogan's powers. / AFP PHOTO / Sascha Schuermann

An overwhelming majority of Germans are against plans by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to hold a referendum rally in their country, according to a public survey conducted by the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

Turkey will hold a public referendum on April 16 on a constitutional reform package that will introduce an executive presidency in the country.

Only 15 percent of the 503 people who took part in the survey said they are in favor of Erdoğan holding a referendum rally in Germany.

German daily Bild claimed last week that Erdoğan will hold a rally in the heavily Turkish-populated state of North-Rhine Westphalia in March to ask for a “yes” vote in the referendum.

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 was not yet clear.

The news about a possible Erdoğan referendum rally in Germany has attracted criticism from Germany’s Left Party and the Green Party.

In a statement last week German Federal Foreign Office spokesperson Martin Schäfer said German authorities should normally be informed about such visits in line with diplomatic protocol but that no such notification has yet been made to them.

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