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Dutch branch of UETD; Burning the wrong flag

Turkey row: Squeezing oranges and burning the wrong flag

In Turkey, members of president Erdoğan’s AKP party protested against a Dutch decision to deport a Turkish minister by squeezing oranges and drinking the juice. Orange is the colour of the Royal House in the Netherlands.

Published: March 13, 2017, 5:39 pm

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    The Turkish flag was also briefly hoisted over the Dutch consulate in Istanbul, but the Dutch foreign ministry lodged a protest against the removal of its flag, and it was later restored to its rightful place.

    In yet another show of protest however, a group of Turks gathered at Cumhuriyet Square in Samsun, in northern Turkey on Saturday dousing the wrong flag in lighter fluid and setting it alight. Instead of burning a Dutch flag, they burned the French one. Both are blue, white and red, but the Dutch flag, one of the oldest in Europe, has horizontal stripes and not vertical ones like the French one does.

    No Dutch media has interviewed the Turk in the Netherlands who had organised the ill-fated rally in Rotterdam, the Dutch branch of UETD. The chairman Turan Atmaca, was directly involved in the contact between the Turkish Consulate and the ministers, but he does not speak a word of Dutch, a source told FWM.

    In reaction to the images of a sea of red Turkish flags being flown on the streets of Rotterdam, PVV leader Geert Wilders, who is campaigning on a platform of “de-Islamising” the Netherlands, tweeted: “The Netherlands can see that these people are Turks, not Dutch. They have Dutch passports, but they don’t belong here.”

    Senior US Republican congressman Steve King tweeting his support for the Dutch anti-Islam politician: “Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilisation with somebody else’s babies,” he said, igniting a social media fire storm.

    The US Republican representative of Iowa defended his comments on Monday, saying he “meant exactly what he said”.

    “It’s a clear message,” he told CNN’s New Day programme. “We need to get our birth rates up or Europe will be entirely transformed within a half century or a little more. And Geert Wilders knows that and that’s part of his campaign and part of his agenda.”

    The residences of the Dutch ambassador, chargé d’affaires and consul general in Ankara were sealed off on Saturday night in what were described as “security measures”.

    The Dutch Christian Democrat leader, Sybrand Buma, one of Rutte’s main rivals in Wednesday’s election, called for the EU to abandon Turkey’s accession treaty, which dates from 1963, a decision that would see Turkish citizens living in the Netherlands losing their right to dual nationality.

    The dispute between the Dutch and Turkish governments follows tensions between Berlin and Ankara last week over similar visits to rally Germany-based Turks. The Turkish foreign minister was banned from speaking in Hamburg, prompting Erdogan to call the Germans “Nazis”.

    On Sunday the row intensified as Danish prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen postponed a visit scheduled for next weekend by the Turkish prime minister to Denmark. Austria and Switzerland have also cancelled Turkish rallies due to the escalating dispute.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel promised to prevent Turkey’s domestic tensions spreading onto German territory.

    The owner of a venue in Sweden where a senior official from Turkey’s ruling party had been due to hold a rally on Sunday cancelled the rental contract, Turkey’s private Dogan news agency reported.

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    • Lakshmi

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