Author: SAIM SAEED
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan warned Europe that its behavior will put its citizens at risk
in other parts of the world, the AFP reported Wednesday.
“If you [Europe] continue to behave like this, tomorrow in no part of the world, no European, no
Westerner will be able to take steps on the street safely and peacefully,” Erdogan said during a
speech in Ankara.
The warning was another sign of the increasingly acrimonious relationship between the EU and
Turkey, which soured over some countries’ refusal to allow Turkish government officials to
campaign in European cities ahead of a referendum on expanding the president’s powers. On
Tuesday, Turkey announced that it is canceling all planned rallies in Germany in the run-up to the
referendum on April 16.
Erdogan added that Turkey was “not a country to push, to prod, to play with its honor, to shove its
ministers out of the door, drag its citizens on the floor,” referring to the expulsion of two cabinet
ministers from the Netherlands after the Dutch government denied them entry on public order and
Erdoğan had earlier accused Germany and the Netherlands of conducting “Nazi practices,” to
great dismay in Europe. German Chancellor Angela Merkel described Erdoğan’s comments as “sad
and incredibly misplaced,” but added that “it can’t be in our foreign and geopolitical interest to
distance ourselves from Turkey.”
Ankara has also threatened to turn its back on a migration agreement with the EU.