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This is how Turkey and Erdogan manage foreign policy: Threats, Insults, Sanctions

Threats, insults and immediate sanctions: This is how Turkey under president Recep Tayyip Erdogan manages its foreign policy, when president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is angry. And he is angry much too often lately primarily against the Netherlands and Germany. And not only…

Some examples

With a delay of twelve years, President Erdogan decided it was high time to tell the world of the massacre of Srebrenica. On March 14th 2017 he accused the Netherlands of ‘massacring over 8,000 people at Srebrenica.

Speaking in Ankara, Erdogan touched a raw nerve with the Dutch when he recalled the mid-1995 Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia, where lightly-armed Dutch peacekeepers were overrun by Bosnian Serb forces and failed to protect Muslim refugees.

“The Netherlands and the Dutch, we know them from the Srebrenica massacre. We know how much their morality, their character is broken from the 8,000 Bosnians that were massacred. We know this well. No one should give us a lesson in civilisation,” Erdogan said.

Almost 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were then massacred and their bodies thrown in mass graves in the biggest incident of bloodshed on European soil since World War II.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Tuesday slammed Erdogan after he said the Dutch “character” was “broken” over the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.

“He (Erdogan) continues to escalate the situation,” Rutte told Dutch news TV channel RTL Nieuws, adding “it’s a repugnant historical falsehood.”

“Erdogan’s tone is getting more and more hysterical, not only against The Netherlands, but also against Germany.” Rutte said.

Somebody wrote on Twitter:

Erdogan’s chief advisor was bold enough to show German Chancellor Merkel who is here the boss.

Turkey took immediate retaliation measures against Dutch diplomats.

But sanctions against the Dutch diplomacy was not enough.

President of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker said he had enough of Turkey’s names and especially the Nazi accusations and said during a speech at the European Parliament:

“I was scandalised by what was said coming from Turkey on the Netherlands, on Germany and on others. I will never accept this comparison between the Nazis and the governments currently in power. You know my home country, Luxembourg, was occupied by the Nazis, our people were suffering. My father was forced into the German army, together with his three brothers.”

He warned Turkey that it distances itself from the EU.

“If you are establishing a comparison of that period with our times – this is totally unacceptable. And the one who is doing this is taking distance from Europe and not trying to enter the European Union. The European Union is not joining Turkey – Turkey is joining the European Union.”

Least but not last, this is “Europe according to Erdogan”

In the end of the day, the spat with Turkey seems to have helped Dutch PM Mark Rutte who dealt with Ankara the way Netherlands’ voters had expected him to do.

At polls on Tuesday suggested that Rutte could return to office due to a large approval of this feud with Erdogan.

The Dutch elections are still running but my feeling is that Erdogan ate far-right Wilders for breakfast together with eggs and spicy sucuk.

PS And I did not even mentioned the ‘names’ and the threats Turkish officials fire in the direction of Greece.
And I do not forget the bashing and the sanctions by the esteemed EU towards Greece in the issue of debt, austerity, bailout and so on and so on. so probably this is how diplomacy manages foreign relations in the 21st century.

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  1. All true, but get used to it. This is the new style of foreign policy by the populist Right. You won’t see much different with Trump, and any other EU country that elects a far right government. Poland and Hungary are already there; Austria is halfway there.

  2. EU don’t mind greece being bullied by turkey for years with threats of war and invading Greek islands, almost daily incursions into Greek territorial waters and airspace and general hostility. But 1 week of Dutch bashing by the Turks and the EU respond.

    So called European ” union” is anything but unity. Every man did himself