Germany has long been home to a large Turkish population – today amounting to 1.4 million compared to Germany’s total population of about 80 million. Those 1.4 million Turks are largely eligible to vote in the upcoming April Turkish referendum on its Constitution.
Turkey’s Justice Minister was scheduled to address a rally of Turks within Germany, until Germany cancelled the rally. Germany’s ire seems to be the result of the recent arrest of Deniz Yucel, a dual-citizen of Germany and Turkey, and a journalist who was imprisoned after publishing leaked e-mails.
Erdogan in response compared the German government to Nazi’s and as being hostile to democracy. The referendum being held in April would shift Turkey’s government from a parliamentary one to a presidential one, including increased powers for Erdogan.
The Turkish population in Germany is the largest in the world after Turkey itself. The migration was the result of labor shortages in West Germany following the 1961 construction of the Berlin Wall.