Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's drive for near absolute power — which last weekend's controversial referendum advanced — may have been aided by a hapless spy operation involving Turkey's broad network of mosques in Europe.

Lawmakers, including those with Turkish roots, are calling for tighter restrictions on the mosques — there are at least 900 of them in Germany — which critics say keep diaspora Turks from fully integrating.

"We have to ask what we can do to finally cut the umbilical cord between these Erdogan mosques and Turkey," said Cem Ozdemir, a German-born Turk who is a national co-leader of the opposition Greens party.

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