Sunday, Apr 26, 2015Sunday, Apr 26, 2015

Erdogan 'campaign speech' rouses Turks in Germany

Published on May 25, 2014 7:08 AM
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan speaks to supporters during his visit in Cologne on May 24, 2014. - PHOTO: REUTERS 

COLOGNE, Germany (AFP) - Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan roused cheering supporters on Saturday, May 24, 2014, at a speech in Germany, the country with the most overseas Turks, shrugging off street protests there labelling him a "dictator".

Mr 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 do not have to travel to the homeland to vote, and added: "God willing, we will announce our presidential candidate as soon as possible."

Mr Erdogan and his Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) have polarised Turks at home and abroad over what critics call his authoritarian style, a crackdown on civil liberties and corruption scandals under his rule.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!