Erdogan Warns ‘Europeans Will Not Walk Safely’

The Turkish President steppes up his anti-EU rhetoric

Turkey’s dispute with Germany, the Netherlands and the European Union shows no sign of abating. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that Europeans would not be able to walk safely on the streets if they kept up their current attitude toward Turkey.

A diplomatic dispute between Germany and the Netherlands on one side, and Turkey on the other, erupted when Turkish officials were barred from campaigning in support for an April 16 constutitonal referendum that could expand Erdogan’s powers.

Erdogan’s recent statement is just one in a series of anti-EU remarks made by Turkish government officials. Last week, Erdogan accused Germany of using “Nazi methods” by banning Turkish ministers from addressing rallies in Europe over security concerns.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Turkey to tone down its rhetoric.

Turkey is not a country you can pull and push around, not a country whose citizens you can drag on the ground.

If Europe continues this way, no European in any part of the world can walk safely on the streets. Europe will be damaged by this. We, as Turkey, call on Europe to respect human rights and democracy.

The defiant Erdogan said addressing journalists in Criminal 2016 movie

In his first speech, the newly elected German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, responded by warning Erdogan that he risked destroying everything his country had achieved in recent years.

“The way we look (at Turkey) is characterized by worry, that everything that has been built up over years and decades is collapsing.”

Both Germany and the Netherlands are home to a large ethnic Turkish diaspora. Over 1.4 million Turks in Germany are eligible to vote in the referendum. Erdogan’s regime seeks to secure the support of the Turkish diaspora in the upcoming constitutional referendum.

Diplomatic relations between the EU and Turkey – still an official candidate for EU membership – have deteriorated in recent years. Under Erdogan’s regime, Turkey has drifted from the EU and adopted an openly hostile rhetoric toward several European countries.

Source: Reuters