Turkish interference in last week of Dutch general election may create political turmoil in results as large number of voters are still undecided. The broad range of political parties adds to the uncertainty. Yesterday US president Trump played a role in how the Dutch viewed foreign policy, today and up to the March 15 election date Erdogan will be the prime topic in Dutch news.
This may swing the popular vote back to Geert Wilders’anti-immigration rhetoric … damn! So the Dutch had stationed Patriot missiles on the Turkish border with Syria as NATO partner, now Erdogan is acting as the dictator I’ve expected him to become a few years back. We certainly live in globalization of political interference in national elections.
One can just throw out the latest polls … they’ll be worthless.
Turkish authorities have sealed off the Dutch embassy and consulate, sources at Turkey’s foreign ministry have said, in the latest incident in a tit-for-tat row between the two countries over Turkish campaigning in Europe.
Turkey also closed off the residences of the Dutch ambassador, charge d’affaires and consul general as tensions between the Nato partners escalated after the Dutch government barred Turkey’s foreign minister from flying to Rotterdam.
In the Netherlands, the Turkish family affairs minister was also reported to have been detained by authorities to prevent her addressing a Rotterdam rally in support of the Turkish president.
According to Dutch broadcasters, Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya was held after travelling from Germany to the Dutch city by car. RTL said Kaya had been declared an “undesirable alien” and would be escorted back to Germany.
In Rotterdam, riot police used horseback charges to break up a crowd shouting support for Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan outside the country’s consulate.
Earlier, Erdoğan branded the Netherlands “Nazi remnants” and “fascists” after the Dutch government withdrew permission for his foreign minister to landin the Netherlands for a planned visit.
Rotterdam city authorities withdrew permission on Friday for Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu to attend a meeting of the Turkish community to rally support for Erdoğan’s plans to extend his powers. The plans are to be voted on in a referendum in Turkey next month.
Several other European cities have banned Turkish officials from attending such meetings aimed at expats who are allowed to vote in the referendum.
The Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, announced in a statement on Facebook that the plane carrying Çavuşoğlu had been barred from landing.
The Dutch vote on Wednesday in national elections, the campaigning for which has featured anti-immigration sentiment, and there are concerns Çavuşoğlu’s presence could disrupt public order.
Speaking at a rally in Istanbul, Erdoğan said of the Dutch government: “They do not know politics or international diplomacy … these Nazi remnants, they are fascists,” as the crowd booed in response.
Family Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya said on March 12 that Dutch police is escorting her back to Germany after having been barred from entering the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam amid an escalating row between the two countries.
“I am being taken to Germany from the Nijmegen border with democratic and humanitarian values disregarded. I condemn this on behalf of all my citizens,” Kaya said in a tweet.
Sayan Kaya, who had arrived from Germany by road, was intercepted by Dutch police late on March 11 near the consulate building hours after Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu’s flight clearance to Rotterdam was cancelled over “security” and “public safety” issues.
Dutch police officers blocked around one kilometer of the road in front of the residence of the Turkish consul general to Rotterdam, where Çavuşoğlu’s meeting with Turkish citizens ahead of the April 16 referendum would take place.
Sayan Kaya said she requested the Netherlands and European countries to return back to “the democratic values they say to defend” after being intercepted.
Thousands of protesters waving Turkish flags gathered outside the Rotterdam consulate, demanding to welcome the minister while protests also erupted in Istanbul and Ankara in front of the Dutch diplomatic missions which had been sealed off after the Dutch move.
Dutch police later used water cannon and horses to break up the protests following the minister’s leave.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has called the Netherlands’ decision to cancel a flight permit for his airplane in order for him to attend a meeting with Turkish citizens in Rotterdam on March 11, a “scandal.”
“It is a scandal from every aspect and it is not acceptable. It does not fit into diplomatic practice. This is the most extreme point in diplomacy,” said Çavuşoğlu on March 11.
Çavuşoğlu was scheduled to fly to the Netherlands’ Rotterdam on March 11, to attend a meeting with Turkish citizens before a referendum in Turkey on April 16, during which a package of constitutional amendments will be voted upon.
But the flight clearance for his airplane to land in the country was canceled just hours before his flight on grounds of “security” and “public safety,” Dutch Foreign Ministry announced in a statement on March 11.
Upon this act, the Netherlands’ charge d’affaires to Ankara was summoned to the Foreign Ministry on March 11, state-run Anadolu Agency said.
“It is totally unacceptable that a foreign minister’s flight clearance, which was given in a written format, was also canceled in a written format,” Çavuşoğlu said, adding that there would “of course be a response.”
Earlier in the day Çavuşoğlu said that if the Netherlands canceled permit for his flight, Turkey would impose sanctions.
Of course Turkey has been a close and willing ally of the United States in its policy of regime change in Syria. As the sectarian civil war escalated with half a million deaths and millions of refugees flreing the war-torn state seeking safety in neighboring countries and in the end upsetting European open door policy for wartime refugees and asylum seekers.
After the attempted overthrow of Erdogan by a coup d’état last June, the EU and NATO policy towrads Turkey shifted. This gave Russia’s Putin a chance to mends ties with Erdogan and may loosen Turkey as a solid partner in NATO.
Hundreds of Turkish nationals and military experts workin in Brussels for NATO have defected and requested political asylum in Europe. Erdogan is really upset with his NATO partners.