Turkey's Erdogan Stakes EU Relations on Referendum Victory

Kristopher Drake
March 18, 2017

"If you want, we could open the way for 15,000 refugees that we don't send each month and blow the mind" of Europe, Soylu said in a speech late Thursday, quoted by the Anadolu news agency.

Party - formed in 2015 by ethnic Turkish lawmakers Tunahan Kuzu and Selcuk Ozturk after their expulsion from the Labor Party, whose integration policy they opposed - attracted over 200,000 votes not just from expatriate Turks, but from people from various backgrounds opposing discrimination and racism. Such concern is more pronounced in this case, considering that the proposed public meetings would be nothing more than one-sided political rallies. It would have been worse if the other party (Party for Freedom) had won. The soot covering Erdogan is so thick that it's doubtful he can even see the kettle, let alone call it black.

In 2016, Turkey agreed the deal to see the country take back illegal migrants from the European Union in exchange for admission to the Schengen zone.

"You bar my minister from entering the Netherlands. and then you expect us to grant access (to migrants)?"

Meanwhile, Chancellor Angela Merkel's office said the German leader discussed the tensions between European Union nations and Turkey with French President Francois Hollande in a phone call Thursday.

The leaders said "it was unacceptable for Turkey to use Nazi jibes to criticise Germany and other countries for banning rallies".

The EU Commission has that it expects Turkey to comply with its commitments under the accord.

But the Turkish leader is showing no signs of toning down his rhetoric.

Erdogan said that this week's decision by the European Court of Justice that would allow employers to ban many Muslim women from wearing the Hijab at work, was part of a "crusade" against the Islamic religion from the EU.

In response, angry pro-Erdogan demonstrators clashed with police outside the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam, with police using dogs, horses and water cannon to disperse them.

Ankara also suspended high-level relations with Amsterdam and blocked the Dutch ambassador to Turkey from returning to his post after leaving the country.

Ankara has expressed dismay over the rise of the anti-immigrant far-right in Europe but showed no pleasure over Wednesday's election win by liberal Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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