Ms. Merkel does have security reasons for her restraint: Germany uses a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation base in Turkey for reconnaissance aircraft in the fight against the Islamic State, and Ms. Merkel was the key force behind a European Union deal with Ankara by which Turkey helps stem the flow of refugees into Europe.
The tensions between The Netherlands and Turkey peaked Saturday night after a convoy of Turkish Minister of Family Affairs Fatma Betul Kaya Sayan was halted for hours close to the Turkish Consulate in Rotterdam.
“If anyone sees fascism in Rotterdam, they are completely detached from reality”, Tusk said.
The Netherlands’ Prime Minister Mark Rutte fired back, saying Erdogan’s criticism was “crazy”.
Some 8 000 Muslim men and boys were killed by Bosnian Serb forces in Srebrenica in 1995, as Dutch UN peacekeepers stood by, the worst atrocity committed on European soil since World War II.
Erdogan did not cite specifics, but made references to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a group deemed a “terrorist organisation” by the European Union. Now they are talking about a readmission plan. “Germany also has honor”, the politician said in an interview with the newspapers of the Funke Mediengruppe. A year ago it also agreed to stop illegal migrants from crossing into Greece in exchange for financial aid for those in its care and accelerated European Union membership talks.
That said, Turkey’s own election law forbids campaigning overseas.
In a feisty campaign speech in northwest Turkey, Erdogan said the European Union could “forget about” the deal, in which Ankara agreed to readmit migrants that had reached Greece illegally via Turkey – a key transit country for tens of thousands trying to flee fighting and poverty and enter Europe. Instead of pushing for the establishment of liberal order outside its borders, Brussels has been happy to settle for a transactional relationship with Ankara – particularly on the issue of stopping refugees or expanding free trade. “Our people were suffering”. Separately, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble (CDU) criticized Turkey on the same day and warned such stance could damage bilateral economic ties.
Germany has been sharply critical of Turkey’s moves to arrest 40,000 people and dismiss or suspend more than 100,000 from the military, civil service and private sector following a failed coup in July.
Numerous countries have cited security concerns as the official reason the rallies have been banned or moved.
“Right now we are not implementing the readmission agreement as there is no visa-free travel”, said Çavuşoğlu.
This is the new normal for Turkey and Europe: They are no longer allies working toward an expanded Europe.
Turkish hackers spread Nazi accusations across high profile Twitter accounts, posting pro-Erdogan messages from accounts including Amnesty International, BBC North America and Forbes.
It has been dubbed the “Tulip Crisis”: a noisy, toxic, and (to the uninitiated) faintly absurd row between Ankara and The Hague over the latter’s refusal to allow Turkish officials to campaign in the Netherlands ahead of an upcoming referendum in Turkey.