Europe’s “masquerade ball’ is over, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has told the continent following his most recent spat with domestic and foreign enemies, slamming countries such as Germany and the Netherlands for banning Turkish ministers from conducting constitutional amendment campaigns.
“What has been happening in Europe lately shows that the struggle against my country and against our struggle has passed to a new stage. Those who tried to come at us with their men, with the terrorists that they support and gave guns to, with the spies they bought with a dollar, are now in the field. My brothers and sisters, the masquerade ball is over,” Erdoğan said in a rally in Istanbul on March 19 after alleged sympathizers of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) rallied in Frankfurt for Newroz celebrations, displaying symbols that Turkey has declared to be terrorist symbols.
“They set aside diplomacy. They do not have the urge to hide their intentions and cannot hide the discomfort they feel from Turkey, which is growing stronger,” said Erdoğan.
Erdoğan accused European countries of supporting the political campaigns of the opposition to constitutional amendments that will usher in an executive presidency with near-unencumbered powers for himself.
“They are overtly conducting a ‘no’ campaign through the newspaper headlines that they publish in Turkish.
They are allocating the biggest halls, the most central squares to the terrorists who are saying ‘no,’ while they cannot tolerate the word ‘yes,’” he said, referring to the Turkish headlines printed after a diplomatic crisis that erupted after Germany and the Netherlands prevented Turkish ministers and politicians from conducting campaign stops in the country.
Erdoğan accused European countries of adopting “Nazi regulations” by displaying “the hatred they have accumulated for years against our country, our nation or even against all Muslims on TV screens and newspaper headlines every day.”
Erdoğan also reiterated his earlier call to the Turkish community living in European countries to procreate, basing his argument on the supposition that European countries were “threatening us [Turks] by reducing our number.”
“They were uncomfortable with my words. They are your citizens. They can give birth to three children or five,” he said.
“If they weren’t ashamed, they would revive the gas chambers,” he added.
“They are lying to us,” he said, referring to Germany, saying Turkey’s appeal to German authorities to extradite the members of outlawed organizations were futile.
“Now [the chancellor] demands that we let out the terrorist spy, supposedly a journalist, who has been hiding in the German consulate general for a month. I said we have a judiciary. He will get tried first,” he said referring to Deniz Yücel, a German daily Die Welt reporter who has been charged with spreading terrorist propaganda by Turkish courts.
“He was tried and arrested. He is now in jail,” he said.
“I am telling all those who are using an iron hand in a velvet glove that those days are over. The Turkey which buckles under your threats and tyranny is no more. We will not let any of our citizens get hurt. Any country which would attempt that will face the consequences,” he said.
“There are ones who do not want to let Daily Sabah into the European Parliament. They are issuing motions for that. All those things bring reprisals. If they do not let a national and native newspaper in there, you will see reprisals in Turkey,” he said.