DUTCH GOVT BANS TURKISH MINISTER
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan brands the Netherlands ‘Nazi remnant’
THE Netherlands barred Turkey’s foreign minister from landing here yesterday in a row over Ankara’s political campaigning among Turkish emigres.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has retaliated by branding his North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) partner a “Nazi remnant”.
The incident came hours after Mevlut Cavusoglu declared he would fly to Rotterdam despite being banned from a rally there to marshal support for sweeping new powers Erdogan seeks. Europe, he said, must be rid of its “boss-like attitude”.
Cavusoglu, who was barred from a similar meeting in Hamburg last week, accused the Dutch of treating Turkish citizens like “hostages”.
“I sent them, so they could contribute to your economy,” he told CNN Turk TV, days ahead of Dutch polls where immigration may play a significant part.
“They’re not your captives. If my going will increase tensions, let it be... I am a foreign minister and I can go wherever I want,” he added, hours before his planned flight to Rotterdam was banned.
Cavusoglu threatened harsh economic and political sanctions if the Dutch refused him entry, a threat that proved decisive for the Netherlands government.
Dutch anti-Muslim politician Geert Wilders, polling second ahead of elections on Wednesday, said in a tweet yesterday: “To all Turks in the Netherlands who agree with Erdogan: Go to Turkey and NEVER come back!!”
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said: “This morning, on TV, (the Turkish minister) made clear he was threatening the Netherlands with sanctions and we can never negotiate with the Turks under such threats. So, we decided... in a conference call, it was better for him not to come.”