Turkey says Europe 'taking sides' on Turkish referendum

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Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Tuesday that some European countries were taking sides by blocking some Turkish ministers’ rallies in their countries while allowing No campaigners.

In his column for the Turkish Daily Sabah, Kalin wrote: "Those who advocate the ‘no’ vote in the April 16 referendum are allowed to hold programs in the very same countries that banned Turkish ministers and politicians who campaign for ‘yes.’

“By displaying such double standards, these European governments and politicians are clearly taking sides in a political campaign in Turkey. So, who is bringing Turkish political issues into Europe?" he added.

On Saturday Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was refused permission to land in the Netherlands and Family and Social Affairs Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya was deported from the country after being blocked from entering Turkey’s Consulate in the Dutch city of Rotterdam.

When Turkish citizens in Rotterdam tried to peacefully protest, they were met by police using batons, dogs and water cannons, in what some analysts called a disproportionate use of force.

The incidents drew strong criticism from Ankara, including diplomatic notes sent to the Netherlands in protest.

"What happened over the last couple of weeks is a reflection of a deeper crisis in Europe where anti-Muslim demonization is used as a political tool, the stigmatization of law-abiding minority communities is legitimized and the good old-fashioned racism is normalized.

“Plus, there is the new anti-Erdogan animosity that comes out of certain circles in Europe – an obsession that is manufactured carefully and spread around the world systematically," Kalin wrote.

The presidential aide criticized the general response of the European countries to the current crisis.

"Had this incident happened in another context, all European politicians and EU institutions would have raised hell, made one statement after another and pressured the Dutch government to correct its mistake.

“Instead, they are coming out in support of it. This is more than double standards. This is not European solidarity. This is a shameful act of self-appeasement that will only make anti-Muslim racists and xenophobes of the West happy," he wrote.

2017.03.14 / 15:59
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