Erdogan Blasts Europe as ‘Sick Man’ Ahead of Power Grab Referendum

Monday, April 10, 2017
By Paul Martin

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has launched a blistering attack on the EU, describing it as a “sick man,” threatening to put the issue of Turkish membership of the bloc on the line, following the outcome of the controversial referendum of giving him extended presidential powers, April 16.

Erdogan has already stirred up a hornets’ nest over the referendum, which — if the outcome is positive — will give him huge new powers, by calling a series of demonstrations among Turkish citizens in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium.
“You have seen what happened in Europe. Why did they go crazy? Why did they go berserk? They saw what this system will bring to Turkey. Turkey is leaping, growing. This makes them go crazy.

“Europe will pay for what they have done. God willing, the question of the European Union will again be on the table after April 16. They said a century ago that we were the ‘sick man.’ Now they are the ‘sick man.’ Europe is collapsing,” he told a rally April 9, referring to the fact that 19th century politicians described the Ottoman Empire as the “sick man.”

Erdogan is holding a referendum, April 16 over controversial changes to the country’s constitution — effectively handing him more power — with a new executive presidency replacing the office of the prime minister.

In an attempt to gain support for his plans from Turkish citizens living in Europe — with significant numbers in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands — Erdogan has been using politicians — and his ministers — to promote them in rallies in both countries.

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