Turkey’s war of words with the Netherlands has deepened after its foreign minister dismissed the Dutch election results.
Speaking at a rally in the southern city of Antalya, Mevlut Cavusoglu said all the Dutch parties share the same anti-Islamic views as Geert Wilders’.
“There is no difference between the social democrats and fascists in the Netherlands. They all have the same mentality. That mindset is taking Europe to a cliff. Soon you will see there will be religious wars in Europe. This trend is showing that,” said Cavusoglu.
Sentiments shared in Istanbul but some called for renewed efforts to make peace.
“He (Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte) didn’t let our foreign minister go to the Netherlands. That racist (mentality) will continue and that is not good of course. The prime minister’s victory means their stance will continue to be the same but it’s not good to have tensions,” said Istanbul resident Bekir Bekis.
Others have hailed the outcome of the Dutch elections as a “good day for democracy.” Ankara resident Erdal Kaman said: “For us rhetoric don’t matter. What matters is not to have racism. It would have been worse if the other party (Party for Freedom) had won. I think we can mend the relations between the two countries and make things better.”
On Monday Turkey broke off diplomatic relations after the Dutch barred Turkish ministers from addressing rallies for overseas Turks ahead of a referendum next month that could give President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sweeping new powers.