In recent months repeatedly could be sure that the relations between Ankara and the EU countries overwhelmed by conflict. But the weekend between the Netherlands and Turkey escalated, which had not previously happened between the NATO partners.
The events that led to the expulsion of the Turkish Minister, to a large extent can be explained by the fact that the President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister of the Netherlands mark Rutte want to demonstrate the power inside their countries. On Wednesday, the Netherlands will hold parliamentary elections in Turkey in April, scheduled a referendum on the question of the introduction of the presidential system, which can significantly increase the power of Erdogan.
Within a few weeks, the Turkish Ministers and officials have visited half of Europe, to urge the Turkish compatriots to vote in the referendum. On Saturday, foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu wanted to appeal to the citizens from the Turkish Consulate General in Rotterdam, the Netherlands banned the performance because of the perceived threat of violations of public order, and the Chairman refused permission to land.
Scheduled performances has raised fears in Sweden. Denmark asked the Prime Minister Binali Yildirim of to postpone the planned speech next week. Cavusoglu, in turn, canceled a visit to Switzerland, scheduled for Sunday. Speaking with the consent of the authorities in the French Metz, in his speech, he called the Netherlands a “capital fascism” and demanded an official apology. Erdogan recalled the comparison with the Nazis — as in the dispute with Germany and the Netherlands threatened consequences. Rutte said that Erdogan should apologize for the comparison with the Nazis.
The culmination of the exchange of blows in on Sunday night was the expulsion of the Turkish Minister for family Affairs Fatma Sayan Betul Kaya. She arrived in Rotterdam on Saturday in response to “ban on landing” for Cavusoglu. However, she was denied access to the Consulate General. After hours of siege of her car, she was officially expelled from the country, middle of the night Dutch security forces have followed her to Germany.
Rutte called the visit Kaya “irresponsible,” complained the Minister, and the Netherlands have violated international law. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim spoke about the “diplomatic scandal” and declared a brutal retribution. On Saturday, Ankara has told the Hague that the return of the Dutch Ambassador, who is abroad, is not desirable. On Sunday, one protester broke into the Dutch Consulate in Istanbul, tore down the Dutch flag and raised the Turkish one.
The flags were later replaced, but the incident further ignited tensions. The protests began in Turkey. In Rotterdam in the night of Sunday on the mainly peaceful demonstration came out 2000 people of Turkish origin, they opposed the restriction of freedom of speech. Several people were arrested, in addition, security forces used water cannons and batons against supporters of Erdogan.
Election campaign intensifies
Election campaign Tensions have also erupted in social networks. Accusations of fascism to the Netherlands were met with instructions to suppress opposition to Erdogan. The confusion is the fact that many Dutch people of Turkish origin after a few years of his life in a new country still agrees with the autocrat Erdogan. The government in the Hague has been criticized for the fact that, unlike France limits freedom of speech. After this, the impression that in the Dutch election campaign mood created by the Muslims.
This applies, first and foremost, right-wing populist Geert Wilders, which took advantage of the situation and wrote on Twitter that all Dutch people of Turkish origin should disappear in Turkey. Representatives of other parties joined the President of the Christian Democrats, of sibrand Boom, called to terminate the old Contract with the EU that would force the Dutch of Turkish origin to abandon the Turkish passport.
Now Prime Minister mark Rutte seems to be a strong man who will not allow Erdogan to blackmail. In recent weeks, with the help of harsh rhetoric against Muslim immigrants, he tried to take away votes from Wilders. Now he can benefit from the dispute with Ankara: the party of migrants calls for de-escalation, and if she turns away, then criticism of the government will remain muted.