EU’s Tusk: Turkish remarks about Dutch fascism “detached from reality”

Belgium, Austria, and Denmark have all made clear they would not welcome election rallies by Turkish ministers.

Having witnessed tension over the past few days, Turkey chose to further escalate the unrest with the Netherlands after the latter had prohibited two Turkish ministers from rallying to gather support for the upcoming Turkish referendum. With a month to go before the Turkish referendum, Mr. Erdogan will keep up his verbal attacks against European leaders to rile his nationalist voters at home and overseas. The officials wanted to campaign in the Netherlands for a referendum on April 16. If he gets the reforms approved by a majority of voters, Turkey would move towards a presidential system. The governing Justice and Development (AK) Party has been looking to boost support amid criticism from the opposition.

He has repeatedly accused the Netherlands of acting like “fascists” and “Nazis”, saying on Sunday: “I had thought that the era of Nazism was over but I was wrong”.

That may be a minuscule number when compared with the 55 million registered voters within Turkey.

Turkey has about 5.5 expatriates and their votes will be counted in the referendum. He especially aims at drumming up support for himself among Turkish citizens in Germany.

Dutch police then escorted the minister to the German border according to the mayor of Rotterdam and the Turkish minister. However, she was detained by the Dutch police forces and deported to Germany.

The decision was taken Wednesday, after President Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan and Prime Minister previously discussed the cancellation of the protocol between the two cities. At the same time, the rise of anti-Muslim populists such as Wilders and France’s Marine Le Pen is pushing even mainstream European parties to adopt some of their policies, turning any outreach to predominantly Muslim Turkey into a political liability.

Cavusoglu’s plane arrived late on 11 March in Paris, where he plans to speak at a March 12 rally.

The night didn’t end there.

Turkey on Wednesday had also posted its worst budget and unemployment statistics since 2009. Turkey has been negotiating European Union membership since 2005, but progress has come close to a halt. “We all show solidarity with the Netherlands”. However, the Netherlands said that the gatherings may not be held due to security concerns as well.

Altmaier said that, over the past 10 years, Turkish politicians’ campaign appearances in Germany have been in line with German laws. The Netherlands was invaded by Nazi Germany in 1940 and occupied right up until the final days of World War Two in Europe, in May 1945.

Is there more to it than meets the eye? Such escalation is politically unwise, given the context in which Mr. Erdogan is running his campaign.

However, Mr Rutte’s handling of the Turkish rallies may benefit his centre-right People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), which governs in coalition with the Labour Party.

On Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said Turkey could impose economic sanctions against the Netherlands.

Yet, all sides have called for restraint.

Turkish and German leaders haven’t taken their differences beyond verbal attacks.

Turkey agreed in 2013 to take back migrants who travelled illegally to the European Union in return for the promise of visa-free travel.

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