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Turkey Slams EU Report Criticizing Erdogan’s Push for More Power

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey on Tuesday rejected a European legal report calling its proposed constitutional changes a big setback for democracy, saying the experts who compiled it had become politicized and the report stained their prestige.

Ankara, stuck in a deepening row with the Netherlands over a ban on its ministers speaking at rallies there ahead of Turkey’s referendum on the changes, says the reforms are needed to guarantee stability in the NATO-member state of 80 million people.

The Venice Commission, a panel of legal experts at the Council of Europe, said on Friday the proposed changes, which will sharply boost the powers of President Tayyip Erdogan, represented a “dangerous step backwards” for democracy. Erdogan’s opponents say the changes would push Turkey towards one-man rule and erode basic rights and freedoms.

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