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Sparks between Turkey and Holland as Erdogan calls the Dutch 'Nazi remnants'
2017/4/11 16:13:45 来源: 《英语文摘》

Demonstrators face Dutch riot police outside the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam.

By Raf Sanchez

he escalating dispute between Nato allies Turkey and the Netherlands hit a new low in the early hours of Sunday, with a Turkish minister escorted out of the country as persona non grata, less than a day after Turkey's foreign minister was denied entry, prompting president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to call the Dutch "Nazi remnants."

Mr Erdoğan reacted furiously to Holland's decision prevent his foreign minister from entering the country in order to hold a pro-government rally with Turkish citizens living in Rotterdam.

"They are very nervous and cowardly. They are Nazi remnants, they are fascists," the Turkish leader told a crowd of his supporters in Istanbul.

Hours later, Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya, Turkey's family and social policies minister,  had arrived in the country from Germany but was prevented from entering her country's diplomatic compound in Rotterdam, setting up an extraordinary standoff with armed police. She was later sent under escort back to Germany.

As she was approaching the German border, Ms Kaya wrote that "the whole world must take action against this fascist practice! Such a treatment against a woman minister cannot be accepted."

Numan Kurtulmus, Turkey’s deputy prime minister, accused the Dutch authorities of “shameless and rude” behaviour, adding that Ankara considers the move against Ms Kaya as an act against “the whole of Turkey”.

About 1,000 pro-Turkish protesters gathered outside their country's consulate in Rotterdam on Saturday night.

Ms Kaya claimed that the "Netherlands is violating all international laws, conventions and human rights by not letting me enter."

Early on Sunday, NOS network showed pictures of a woman, protesting, being taken to another car, amid media reports the minister was being taken back to Germany.

The mayor of Rotterdam issued an emergency order late Saturday in an attempt to contain a pro-Turkish demonstration which has turned into a flashpoint of the quickly deteriorating relations.

Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said he needed special powers to assure security throughout the center of the city fearing that more people would join the demonstration and there was "serious concern" that riots might ensue. He said that the Turkish minister is an "unwanted foreigner."

Prime minister Binali Yildirim said his country will strongly respond to Dutch authorities' "unacceptable treatment" toward Turkish ministers in a written statement released early on Sunday.

Mr Yildirim also urged Turkish nationals living in Europe to remain calm and not fall for provocations and asked them to cast their votes in the April 16 referendum saying it would be best response to the European nations.

He said: "There will be a stronger reprisal against the unacceptable treatment toward Turkey and ministers who have diplomatic immunity."

Mr Yildirim added: "Our so-called European friends who speak of democracy, freedom of expression and human rights have failed their class."

The outbursts in the Netherlands come days after similar comments about Germany in an identical dispute.

But in the Dutch case the bitter flare-up comes four days before Wednesday's elections, in which have the Right-wing populist Geert Wilders has surged in the polls on a nationalist and anti-Islamic platform.

It was not clear what impact the argument would have on the unpredictable polls but Mr Wilders rushed to make political hay and claimed pressure from his supporters was responsible for the Dutch government's actions.

"Great! Thanks to heavy PVV pressure a few days before the Dutch elections our government did not allow the Turkish minister to land here!!" he wrote on Twitter.

"I say to all Turks in the Netherlands that agree with Erdoğan: go to Turkey and never come back." 

The origins of the row lie in the upcoming April referendum in Turkey, when Mr Erdoğan hopes to secure public support for constitutional reforms that would vastly increase his powers.

Ahead of the vote he has been dispatching government ministers to European countries with large Turkish populations to campaign for a Yes vote.

About 1.4 million people of Turkish descent are eligible to vote in Germany and another several hundred thousand in Holland.

Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey's foreign minister, planned to attend a Yes vote rally on Saturday in Rotterdam but the venue owner's cancelled the event, citing safety concerns.

When Mr Cavusoglu insisted that he was planning on coming anyway, Holland's cabinet issued made an emergency decision to block his flight from landing. The Dutch government said it objected to foreign nations carrying out political events on its soil.

"We are of the opinion that Dutch public spaces are not the place for political campaigns of other countries," said Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister.

The decision was met with an explosive response by Turkey, which accused Holland of taking sides in the Turkish referendum against Mr Erdoğan.

"You can stop our foreign minister's plane all you want, let's see how your diplomatic planes will come to Turkey from now on," Mr Erdoğan.

Other ministers spoke of possible sanctions against Holland and a Dutch diplomat was summoned to the foreign minister in Ankara for a reprimand.

The Dutch prime minister called the Nazi comments "way out of line". 

The argument underscores the extraordinary tensions between Mr Erdoğan's government and some of the major powers of western Europe, despite the fact the two sides are in theory united under the Nato alliance. 

Turkey has accused the EU of failing to uphold its side of a deal in which Turkey would stop refugees and migrants from the Middle East heading into Europe in return for the EU granting visa-free travel to Turkish citizens.

EU countries have spoken openly of their concerns that Mr Erdoğan is leading his country down an increasingly authoritarian path and has used the failed coup attempt against him last July as an excuse to stifle dissent.

2017/03/12

(责编:MIDO)

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