Turkish FM Çavuşoğlu’s attacks and humiliation targeting EU persist

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said on Tuesday that the European Union (EU) is falling apart. He said the EU was founded in an effort to bring Europe together around certain values; however, all such values were now “disappearing one-by-one.”

In a time of tensions between Turkey and the Netherlands escalate following the ban on Turkish ministers’ political rallies in the country,  Turkish FM Çavuşoğlu said that “We think the future of Europe will not be pleasant at all.”

Çavuşoğlu has also accused Europe of double standards in its approach to Turkey. He said certain European politicians, who voiced support for Turkey in private phone calls, were now avoiding public statements to condemn the recent incidents. “Do you know why? It is due to fear,” the minister said, adding: “The European Union is falling apart.”

Tensions between EU member the Netherlands and Turkey broke out on Saturday when the Netherlands blocked two Turkish ministers from speaking at political rallies and the Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan twice referred to the Dutch government as “Nazis.”

Turkey’s relations with EU members Germany, Austria and the Netherlands have also been strained over these countries’ refusal to allow Turkish government officials to hold rallies there ahead of the public referendum in Turkey in April.

Turkey will hold a referendum on April 16 on a constitutional reform package that will introduce an executive presidency in the country if approved.

Germany, Austria and the Netherlands have canceled scheduled events to be participated in by Turkish ministers, usually out of security concerns.

A large number of Turkish citizens or people of Turkish origin live in these countries, and Turkish citizens living abroad have the right to vote in elections and referenda.

Turkey is a candidate to join the EU, although the membership negotiations have made little progress over the past decade. The country has become a vital partner in a deal with the EU to curb the passage of migrants and refugees from Turkey into Europe.

March 14, 2017

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