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Nazi remarks to continue: Erdogan

Germany demands to release reporter

Supporters of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, react to his speech during a rally for the upcoming referendum, in his hometown city of Rize, in the Black Sea region of Turkey on April 3. Turkey is heading to a contentious April 16 referendum on constitutional reforms to expand Erdogan’s powers. (AP)

ANKARA, April 4, (Agencies): Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan vowed on Tuesday to continue calling European countries “Nazi remnants and fascists” if they maintain their “current attitude against Turkey”, despite repeated condemnation from European capitals. “They don’t let my ministers make speeches in Europe (…) Once the referendum on April 16 is over, we will consider, everything has a price,” Erdogan told a referendum rally in the western city of Zonguldak.

Erdogan has repeatedly lashed out at European countries including Germany in campaigning for the referendum, accusing them of “Nazi-like” tactics for banning his ministers from speaking to rallies of Turkish voters abroad. Meanwhile, Turkey dismissed 45 more judges and prosecutors on Monday as part of investigations into last July’s failed coup, the state-run Anadolu agency said, meaning around 4,000 members of the judiciary have now been purged

Turkish authorities have detained, sacked or dismissed more than 113,000 people from the police, military, public service, judiciary and elsewhere since the abortive coup over suspected ties to U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of orchestrating the putsch. Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, has denied the charge and condemned the coup.

Anadolu also said the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) had suspended a judge and an official handling a case of 29 alleged members of Gulsen’s network from various media outlets, less than a week after the judge ruled for 21 of the suspects to be acquitted. The case included the suspected administrators of a Twitter whistleblower under the pseudonym Fuat Avni, as well as other journalists.

Rights groups and some Western allies fear President Tayyip Erdogan is using the coup as a pretext to stifl e dissent; but the government argues the purges are justified by the extent of the threat to the state on July 15 when rogue soldiers commandeered tanks and fighter jets, killing at least 240 people

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