The Netherlands barred Turkey’s foreign minister from landing in Rotterdam on Saturday in a row over Ankara’s political campaigning among Turkish emigres, leading President Tayyip Erdogan to brand the fellow NATO member a “Nazi remnant”.
The extraordinary incident came hours after Mevlut Cavusoglu said 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 but spoke instead from the Turkish consulate, accused the Dutch of treating the many Turkish citizens in the country like “hostages”, cutting them off from Ankara.
“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.
Got that, Netherlands? Your country is not your own. Turkey claims some form of sovereignty. You might have wanted the Turks and their authoritarian president R.T. Erdogan to keep their national political campaigning outside of Holland, but really, who are you to tell people from other nations what they can and cannot do in your own country? More from Reuters:
Addressing a rally of supporters, Erdogan retaliated.
“Listen Netherlands, you’ll jump once, you’ll jump twice, but my people will thwart your game,” he said. “You can cancel our foreign minister’s flight as much as you want, but let’s see how your flights will come to Turkey now.”
“They don’t know diplomacy or politics. They are Nazi remnants. They are fascists,” he added.
At the moment, hundreds of Turks, and/or Dutch citizens of Turkish descent, are protesting outside the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam. There are reports that the Dutch authorities have activated riot police in case things get out of hand.
Here’s what the so-called “far right” politician Geert Wilders tweeted about the ongoing event in Rotterdam:
Decennialang open grenzen, massaimmigratie, behoud van eigen cultuur, nul integratie, dubbele nationaliteit.
Zie hier het resultaat. pic.twitter.com/kMK6oDDy0Y
— Geert Wilders (@geertwilderspvv) March 11, 2017
For decades, open borders, mass immigration, maintaining one’s own culture, zero integration, dual nationality.
See the results here.
I think the Turks must want to elect this guy. The Dutch vote in national elections on Wednesday. Even if Wilders’s party comes out on top, he is unlikely to be able to form a coalition government. Still, it would be quite a statement.