After Germany, Netherlands and Austria have all banned rallies of Turkish citizens in support of the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the diplomatic rift between Turkey and the EU has widened.
Erdogan harshly criticized the EU during a meeting for the Doctor Days in Ankara, and accused Europe of staring a “clash” between Christianity and Islam with a ruling allowing employers to ban headscarves.
Several hours prior to Erdogan’s speech, Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, warned that “holy wars will soon begin in Europe”.
“Now the election is over in the Netherlands…when you look at the many parties you see there is no difference between the social democrats and fascist Wilders”, said Cavusoglu, commenting the results of Dutch parliamentary election.
“All have the same mentality. Where will you go? Where are you taking Europe? You have begun to collapse Europe. You are dragging Europe into the abyss. Holy wars will soon begin in Europe.”
Erdogan said that the European Court of Justice ruling upheld the dismissal of two women who refused to remove their hijabs started a “clash between crescent and cross”, clearly alluding to the Crusades, a series of military conflicts fought between Christian European states and Islamic Empires in the Middle East during the Middle Ages.
“Shame on the EU. Down with your European principles, values and justice. They started a clash between the cross and the crescent, there is no other explanation.”
The Turkish President repeated his criticism of Netherlands and Germany, after both countries prevented Turkish ministers from holding events in support of Erdogan’s constitutional referendum.movie Fantastic Four 2015 trailer
Relations between Ankara and Brussels have deteriorated after a failed coup attempt against Erdogan’s regime in July last year. In response to the coup, Erdogan has launched a series of purges against his opponents with the aim of consolidating his power.
However, many European leaders have condemned Erdogan’s regime and his crackdown against political opponents.
The upcoming constitutional referendum in Turkey aims to replace the country’s current parliamentary system with an executive presidency, and significantly increase Erdogan’s powers.
Source/Image: The Independent