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Germany: Berlin's Turks head to polls as voting begins in referendum02:55

Germany: Berlin's Turks head to polls as voting begins in referendum

Germany, Berlin
March 27, 2017 at 12:51 GMT -00:00 · Published

Dozens of Turkish citizens were seen queuing outside Turkish consulate in Berlin on Monday, as Turks abroad began voting in Turkey's constitutional referendum.

A small group of protesters from 'Life is above everything' initiative also staged a rally in front of the consulate, with placards reading 'Six million of People's Democratic Party (HDP) are not able to vote'.

Roughly half of Germany's three million estimated citizens with Turkish heritage are registered to vote in the referendum on absentee ballots, for which polling will last until April 9. The electorate in Turkey will vote on the bill on April 16.

The new draft constitution, approved by the Turkish parliament last January, introduces a bundle of constitutional amendments that pave the way for a presidential system of government, significantly increasing the power of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Recent opinion polls show the race between 'Yes' and 'No' votes neck to neck, with voters against the amendments slightly tipping the balance.

The weeks leading up to the vote witnessed a row between the Turkish and German governments, after German local municipalities withdrew permits for number of rallies promoting the new draft constitution. Turkey condemned the cancelation and Erdogan repeatedly branded Germany and its Chancellor Angela Merkel with Nazi comparisons.

Germany: Berlin's Turks head to polls as voting begins in referendum02:55
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Dozens of Turkish citizens were seen queuing outside Turkish consulate in Berlin on Monday, as Turks abroad began voting in Turkey's constitutional referendum.

A small group of protesters from 'Life is above everything' initiative also staged a rally in front of the consulate, with placards reading 'Six million of People's Democratic Party (HDP) are not able to vote'.

Roughly half of Germany's three million estimated citizens with Turkish heritage are registered to vote in the referendum on absentee ballots, for which polling will last until April 9. The electorate in Turkey will vote on the bill on April 16.

The new draft constitution, approved by the Turkish parliament last January, introduces a bundle of constitutional amendments that pave the way for a presidential system of government, significantly increasing the power of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Recent opinion polls show the race between 'Yes' and 'No' votes neck to neck, with voters against the amendments slightly tipping the balance.

The weeks leading up to the vote witnessed a row between the Turkish and German governments, after German local municipalities withdrew permits for number of rallies promoting the new draft constitution. Turkey condemned the cancelation and Erdogan repeatedly branded Germany and its Chancellor Angela Merkel with Nazi comparisons.

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