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Belgium warns against violence during Turkey referendum vote

Associated Press logo Associated Press 30/03/2017
Belgian police patrol during a conflict between supporters and opponents of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan near the Turkish embassy in Brussels on Thursday, March 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys) © The Associated Press Belgian police patrol during a conflict between supporters and opponents of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan near the Turkish embassy in Brussels on Thursday, March 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)

BRUSSELS — Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel warned that the government will not tolerate violence as Turks living abroad vote on a referendum that would give Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan more power.

Belgian media reported that as voters lined up at the Turkish embassy in Brussels on Thursday, fighting broke out amid Erdogan's supporters and opponents.

Michel condemned the fighting in a Twitter message and said he will "apply zero tolerance for violence surrounding the Turkish referendum."

Turkish citizens in six European countries have until April 9 to vote in the referendum. The deadline in Turkey is a week later.

Relations between European Union nations and Turkey have progressively worsened as the referendum nears, with Erdogan accusing nations like the Netherlands and Germany of Nazi practices to contain or ban demonstrations.

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