Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Tayyip Er­do­gan brands the Nether­lands ‘Nazi rem­nant’

New Straits Times - - World -

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.”

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