ERDOGAN SPEECH ROUSES TURKS IN GERMANY

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COLOGNE, Germany: Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan roused cheering supporters on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) at a speech in Germany, the country with the most overseas Turks, shrugging off street protests there labeling him a “dictator.” Erdogan is expected to run for Turkey’s presidency in August, and Germany—with a Turkish community of three million, half of them eligible voters—would be a strong constituency for the controversial leader. The premier urged the adoring crowd to register for the election, the first in which overseas Turks don’t have to travel to the homeland to vote, and added: “God willing, we will announce our presidential candidate as soon as possible.” Erdogan and his Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party have polarized Turks at home and abroad over what critics call his authoritarian style, a crackdown on civil liberties and corruption scandals under his rule.

AFP

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