Turkey's president: Turks living in Europe should all have 5 children


With the outcome of the referendum in the balance - and with it, some claim, even the future of the president himself - observers say Erdogan and his government remain focused just on winning the vote, whatever the cost, which could mean more trouble for Europe-Turkey relations.

"But you are right now employing Nazi measures", Erdogan said referring to Merkel, pointedly using the informal "you" in Turkish.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday urged Turks residents in Europe to have five children, telling the millions-strong diaspora they were the continent's "future" as a bitter dispute festered between Ankara and Brussels. Drive the best cars. Make not three, but five children. And that's exactly why Erdoğan encouraged it.

About 30,000 Kurds gathered in the central city of Frankfurt on Saturday to protest against the constitutional reforms sought by Erdogan, which would give the president greater power.

The controversial decision drew criticism from Turkish politicians. Turkey has so far met most of the requirements for visa liberalization, but the EU's demands for change in Ankara's anti-terrorism laws led to a deadlock in negotiations.

But playing up anti-Turkish sentiment and attacking Europe is proving to be an effective way of stirring up nationalist sentiments at home, which he hopes will translate into support for his referendum.

Those denunciations have been aggressive.

Turkey and Europe are locked in diplomatic crisis after Germany and the Netherlands blocked Turkish ministers from campaigning for a "yes" vote in next month's referendum.

With almost 95 percent of Wednesday's votes counted, Dutch Prime Minister Rutte appears set for a third term as his center-right People's Party for Freedom and Democracy Party (VVD) got the largest share of seats in parliament, 33 out of 150, down from 41 in the 2012 polls.

Turkey's EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik has already threatened that Ankara should reconsider part of its deal to keep migrants out of the European Union.

"Turkey is now further away from European Union membership than ever before", Gabriel told Der Spiegel in an interview, adding that he has always been apprehensive about Turkey's accession bid, but "was rather a minority in Social Democratic Party [SPD]".