Erdogan’s ‘Nazi’ comments are ‘crazy, out of line’
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Saturday denounced remarks by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan likening the Dutch to Nazis as “crazy,” adding it was “way out of line.”
They were “crazy remarks,” Rutte told reporters as he campaigned for re-election in Wednesday’s polls in The Netherlands.
“I understand that they are angry but this is way out of line”, he said in the town of Breda.
The Hague said Saturday it would refuse Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s plane permission to land ahead of a planned rally in Rotterdam.
Erdogan reacted angrily by likening the ban to Nazism, saying “they are the vestiges of the Nazis, they are fascists”.
Rutte said it had been a tough decision given Turkey was “a NATO ally”, but he insisted: “I really think we made the right decision here.”
The Dutch move comes after Germany and other European nations saw efforts to block other such campaign events, which are aimed at gathering support for a Turkish referendum which would boost Erdogan’s powers.
It was unclear whether the Turkish rally in Rotterdam would still take place.
It would come just four days ahead of high-stakes elections in the Netherlands which have been dominated by a polarising debate over immigration and the role of Muslim citizens.
Dutch political leaders hit the campaign trail Saturday, criss-crossing the country to woo voters ahead of next week’s elections now overshadowed by the bitter row with Turkey.