Europe

Turkey says campaigning in Europe is democratic right

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."