Turkey, Europe

Turkey files investigation into Dutch lawmaker

Investigation opened over Twitter post insulting Turkish president

Cemil Murat Budak   | 16.02.2021
Turkey files investigation into Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders

ANKARA

Turkish prosecutors filed an investigation Tuesday into far-right Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders over a social media post seeking to vilify Turkey's president.

Prosecutors in the capital Ankara said in a statement that the probe of Wilders, who heads the Dutch Party for Freedom, was opened due to a Twitter post "including a photo and written insult about President Recep Tayyip Erdogan."

On Feb. 15, Wilders shared a post on Twitter insulting Erdogan and calling on NATO to expel Turkey, an alliance member since 1952.

Dismissing remarks by Wilders and his "merry band of neo-Nazis" as having never "amounted to anything," Turkey's Communications Director Fahrettin Altun voiced concern that Europe's "seemingly moderate governments and ostensibly responsible policymakers" appear to share the far-right politician's views.

Referring to a leaked report by the Dutch National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security (NCTV) containing various claims against the Turkish community in the Netherlands, Altun said the "groundless, biased and ignorant" document should be taken as a greater concern than Wilders.

"Turkey and the Turkish community in Europe have always served as a bulwark against terrorism and extremism. To say otherwise is to serve racism and Islamophobia," said Altun.

Separately, Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Twitter: "Geert Wilders, Europe's spoiled child, once again did what is expected of him. He looked in the mirror and told what he saw."

Omer Celik, the spokesperson for Turkey's ruling Justice and Development (AK Party), also said of Wilders: "If this fascist who insulted our president had lived during the World War II years, he would have been a Nazi who is cursed now."

"If he were living in the Middle East now, he would be a Daesh [ISIS] murderer. He lives in the Netherlands in this age and has become an ugly fascist, an enemy of humanity.

"This ugly fascist is a killer candidate who would seek ways to kill innocent immigrants if he had the opportunity. He has become one of the cursed in humanity while he is still living," he continued.

Celik added: "It is natural for this fascist to insult our president, the leader of the policy of embracing immigrants who fled death. Because these cursed fascists are humanity's enemy."

Turkey is home to some 4 million Syrian refugees, more than any country in the world.

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