Turkey PM and Turkish minister of EU affairs make weird accusations
The Turkish Prime Minister, who usually shuns foreign media, was interviewed by Holland's public broadcaster NOS and daily NRC Handelsblad on the eve of Sunday's general elections in Turkey. Campaigning on a ultra nationalistic militaristic national pride theme, which Mr Erdogan's AK party won with 48.8% of the votes.
Geert Wilders' Freedom Party is opposed to Turkey's entry into the European Union. With 15 percent of the popular vote, the nationalist Freedom Party is a key supporter of the Netherlands' minority government. Brussels has been considering Ankara's membership application since 1987.
Explaining Turkey's position, Europe Minister Egemen Bagis later told the Dutch press that his government is dealing with the Netherlands' government, not with Geert Wilders' Freedom Party. "We're assuming that the Dutch population is not interested in the anti-Islam position of Mr Wilders," the Turkish minister said, thinking that those 15% of simple 1.5 million can be ignored like he ignored the rights of Kurds. Anyway, Bağis never made a clever statement, always controversial.
Geert Wilders reacted in characteristic fashion, not mincing his words: "Mr Erdogan is a dangerous Islamist of the worst kind. If he wins the elections, Turkey will definitively turn its back on Europe. As far as we're concerned they will never get into the EU anyway, but in any case normal relations will become complicated when he is involved. A dangerous man, himself an Islamic radical."
A member of the Dutch opposition Socialist Party, Sadet Karabulut, a Turk, said on Twitter, "Turkish premier Erdogan may be concerned about a radicalisation in Dutch politics. I'm concerned about Mr Erdogan's radical politics."
Erdogan and its team face huge economical problems. But their bragging starts to irritate.