Turkey will challenge the Netherlands in the European Court of Human Rights over its refusal to allow Turkish officials to enter the country and deliver campaign speeches, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned.
In an interview with A Haber television following a cabinet meeting in Ankara on Monday evening, the Turkish leader also promised to deploy “whatever sanctions we have” and to “hold the Netherlands accountable,” as quoted by Reuters.
Erdogan also repeated an earlier charge, accusing Germany, another country where speeches by Turkish politicians were canceled, of “mercilessly” supporting terrorism.
“Mrs Merkel, why are you hiding terrorists in your country?… Why are you not doing anything?” said Erdogan, adding that 4,500 dossiers sent by Ankara of mostly Kurdish terror suspects have not resulted in extraditions. “Mrs Merkel, you are supporting terrorists.”
When told of Erdogan’s comments, Merkel immediately branded them “absurd.”
The Turkish leader had previously said the German consulate in Istanbul was “aiding and abetting” terrorism, when it harbored the German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel for a month, before handing him over to the authorities. Yucel has been charged with terrorist activities and incitement, partly for covering the Kurdish PKK separatists, coinciding with vociferous protests from the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.