ANKARA, Turkey – Turkey's deputy prime minister says it is the democratic right of Turkish leaders to stage campaign rallies in European countries in advance of a national referendum.
The April 16 vote is on on shifting to a presidential system, which critics fear will concentrate too many powers in the hands of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has already campaigned for a "yes" vote in Germany and said Erdogan also would address Turkish citizens in Europe.
In a response to criticism from Austria, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said after a Cabinet meeting that the Turkish leaders would not be interfering in elections in that country.
He added: "both the 'yes' and 'no' camps will campaign. To hinder that. would amount to misinterpreting democracy."