Netherlands and Germany not amused anymore, harden stance towards Turkey

13 Mar 2017 | By Vaneet Randhawa

Turkey was criticized by several EU leaders for its attempts to hold rallies in several European cities.

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan attacked Germany and the Netherlands of "Nazism" for blocking rallies.

These comments were 'unacceptable' according to the Dutch PM Mark Rutte while the German foreign minister hoped that Turkey would "return to its senses".

Denmark also postponed a meeting with Turkish PM.

In context: Turkey-EU row: Of elections, Nazism and Islamophobia allegations

IntroductionTurkey relying on the support of German Turks

Turkey is heading towards a referendum on Turkey's constitution which is crucial for the current President.

Turkish President Erdogan wants to abolish the PM's post and give a certain extension to his powers.

For this, he needs the support of the Turks residing in Germany.

In the elections over last 4 years, almost 50-60% of German Turks voted in Mr. Erdogan's favour.

Why German Turks matter?

3 million Turkish origin people live in Germany. Almost 1.4 million of them are qualified to vote in the Turkish elections. In effect, the "diaspora is Turkey's fourth largest electoral district".
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11 Mar 2017Nazi row: Germany blocks Turkish envoys; Gets the 'Nazi' tag

A furious diplomatic row erupted as German authorities cancelled certain planned Turkish rallies.

Citing technical reasons the talk by the Turkish justice minister was cancelled by Germany.

Turkey summoned the German ambassador to Ankara to oppose the cancellation of the rally.

The cancellation of such rallies was labelled as 'Nazi' actions by Turkey's President which provoked criticism from Berlin.

Real reasonWhy a crisis is good for Turkish President?

Political analysts believe that row was self-created by the Turkish president to show his strong leadership against Europe to the Turkish people to get votes.

This would extend his nationalist base in and outside Turkey.

On the Dutch PM Mark Rutte's part, he has opposed the Turkish rallies fearing that it might upset this week's parliamentary elections in Netherlands.

12 Mar 2017Turkey-EU row escalates

Rallies in Netherlands, Germany, and Austria were canceled citing security concerns and that they could stoke tensions.

In fact, 2 Turkish ministers were prohibited from speaking in rallies in Rotterdam, with 1 of them conducted at the German border.

Protesters waving Turkish flags in Rotterdam were dispersed using water cannons and dogs.

Turkey termed this as 'Islamophobia' and compared Netherlands to the Banana Republic.

13 Mar 2017Netherlands and Germany not amused anymore, harden stance towards Turkey