PARIS — The Dutch authorities on Saturday intensified a diplomatic dispute between Turkey and its NATO allies in Europe by refusing to let the Turkish overseas minister fly into the Netherlands to marketing campaign on behalf of a referendum that might increase the facility of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey.
In response, Mr. Erdogan in contrast the Dutch to “fascists” and stated they have been “Nazi remnants,” echoing the outline he used for the Germans final Sunday, after two Turkish politicians campaigning for Mr. Erdogan scrapped rallies when the German authorities informed them it couldn’t assure their security.
Mr. Erdogan accused Germany of utilizing “Nazi practices” to dam him from campaigning, drawing a rebuke from the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, who referred to as the comparability “utterly unacceptable” and stated the remarks trivialized the struggling of the Nazis’ victims.
In distinction, France deliberate to permit a gathering with the Turkish overseas minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, to go forward on Sunday in Metz, a metropolis within the northeastern a part of the nation.
Within the Netherlands, Prime Minister Mark Rutte posted a authorities assertion on his Facebook page that stated Turkey had sabotaged discussions between the 2 nations over a go to by Mr. Cavusoglu to Rotterdam. Turkey then threatened sanctions, the assertion stated, making “an inexpensive answer unimaginable.”
Many European governments actively oppose the efforts by Mr. Erdogan to expand his power and say he has proven dictatorial tendencies by imprisoning hundreds of individuals after a coup attempt last year. The record consists of journalists, human rights staff, political opponents and lots of Kurds — individuals seen as a menace to his energy.
The Turkish chief is keen to marketing campaign in Europe to bolster the referendum’s possibilities as a result of a number of million Turks reside there, principally in Germany and France. An estimated four hundred,000 Turks reside within the Netherlands and lots of have twin nationality, in response to the Dutch authorities.
The votes of European Turks on the referendum, scheduled for April, might make the distinction between Mr. Erdogan’s gaining extra energy or being checked by his individuals.
This debate is enjoying out on many ranges, each for Turks and for the Dutch, with the subtext being whether or not the referendum is suitable to a majority of Turks dwelling within the Netherlands who’ve two passports and two identities.
“The Dutch-Turkish society right here continues to be with one leg of their mom nation,” stated Enis Odaci, the deputy editor of the Nieuwwij information web site.
“And now Erdogan comes alongside and asks loyalty. He says, ‘Give me your vote since you are Turkish individuals,’ not Dutch-Turkish, German-Turkish or French-Turkish. And that’s very, very delicate within the worldwide debate about Islam and integration and migration.”
Mr. Odaci, whose father got here to the Netherlands from Turkey many years in the past, added: “Dutch politics and politicians are questioning how are you going to contribute to this Dutch society, however you’re nonetheless prepared to vote for a person who’s heading towards a dictatorship or a theocracy. What the Dutch are asking is: ‘Can you’ve two loyalties? Can you will have two identities?’”
One other issue enjoying into the Dutch response is the nation’s parliamentary elections on March 15, by which Mr. Rutte’s celebration is operating barely forward of Geert Wilders’s far-proper Celebration for Freedom, which opposes immigration and campaigns towards any overt indicators of Islam in Dutch society.
Mr. Wilders vocally opposed the Turkish go to in current days, and Mr. Rutte, who’s making an attempt to take care of his slender lead, quickly took the identical line. Now different Dutch politicians are voicing their approval of the federal government’s newest transfer.
After the Netherlands withdrew permission for Mr. Cavusoglu to fly into the nation as negotiations to carry a rally there on behalf of the Turkish referendum broke down, Mr. Erdogan said in Istanbul on Saturday, “Ban our overseas minister from flying nevertheless a lot you want, however any further, let’s see how your flights will land in Turkey.”
Mr. Wilders retorted on Twitter: “Oh sure, and I say to all Turks within the Netherlands who agree with Erdogan, go to Turkey and by no means come again.”
Germany and Switzerland banned comparable gatherings the place Turkish officers have been to talk. Whether or not blocking the campaigning will obtain the Dutch politicians’ objective, nevertheless, shouldn’t be clear.
Mr. Odaci, the editor, stated that in a method, the Dutch handed Mr. Erdogan a weapon with which to rally Dutch-Turks from afar by declaring them second-class residents disadvantaged of freedom of speech.
A few of Mr. Erdogan’s opponents, nevertheless, have famous that whereas the Turkish president is vigorously defending his proper to free speech in Europe, he’s eroding that proper for Turks at residence.
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