Turkey has hit out again at the Netherlands, describing it as the “capital of fascism” and accusing it of giving way to anti-Islam sentiment.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is desperately hoping to win support among Turkish ex-pats, pointed out that the barring of his ministers from holding political rallies in the Netherlands comes just ahead of elections there.
“If you sacrifice Turkish-Dutch relations to the elections held on Wednesday, you will pay the price,” he said.
“I thought Nazism was dead, but I was wrong. Nazism is still widespread in the West,” he added. “The West has shown its true face.”
Immigration is one of the hot topics in the election race.
France, which allowed a Turkish political rally to take place on Sunday, called for calm on both sides in the dispute and called on Ankara to avoid what it calls “excesses and provocations”.
The Dutch PM says he will not apologise for the government’s actions, saying his country will respond if the row escalates and Turkey retaliates further.
Mark Rutte said: “This is a man who yesterday made us out to be fascists and a country of Nazis.
“I’m going to de-escalate, but not by offering apologies. Are you nuts?” he told a morning talk show.
He added later: “We are in the wrong situation with Turkey at the moment. We asked the minister not to come because of the tensions we expected in Rotterdam and because we are not comfortable with such a visit.
“A visit from a Turkish minister to the Dutch people to talk about a Turkish referendum, and still they come.”
Adding to the row, the Danish Prime Minister has proposed putting off a planned visit by the Turkish prime minister to his country in light of Ankara’s dispute with the Netherlands.