• Turkey says EU criticism over Dutch row ‘has no value’

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    ANKARA: Turkey on Tuesday hit back at the EU after the bloc criticized Ankara over a spiraling diplomatic spat with the Netherlands, saying its criticism had no value for the country.

    “The EU’s short-sighted statement has no value for our country,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

    Ankara claimed that rather than trying to calm the situation, the European Union was “giving credit to xenophobia and anti-Turkish sentiment” by choosing to side with countries who violate diplomatic agreements and the law.

    Brussels called on Turkey on Monday to refrain from excessive statements after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the Netherlands of acting like the Nazis.

    Late Monday, Erdogan repeated his comments, saying what was happening in Europe was “Nazism, we can call this neo-Nazism. A new Nazism tendency.”

    Tensions between Turkey and EU member states increased after Germany and the Netherlands banned events where Turkish politicians wanted to rally support ahead of a vote next month. The Dutch also expelled the Turkish family minister at the weekend.

    On April 16, Turks will decide whether to approve constitutional changes that would create an executive presidency, boosting Erdogan’s powers.

    But EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn said it was up to Berlin and The Hague to decide whether to allow Turkish politicians into the country to rally for a “yes” vote.

    The ministry slammed the EU’s statement which “contains wrong evaluations and combines different agendas to try to distort perception”.

    “Our EU counterparts apply democratic values, fundamental rights and freedoms selectively,” the ministry added.

    It condemned the EU’s support for the Dutch government—which it accused of violating European values—saying it was “extremely grave.” AFP

     

     

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