President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned on Wednesday that Europeans risk being unsafe on the world’s streets, as a crisis between Ankara and the EU showed no signs of abating.
“If you continue to behave like this, tomorrow in no part of the world, no European, no Westerner will be able to take steps on the street safely and peacefully,” Erdogan said during a speech in Ankara.
Erdogan did not expand on what he meant by his comments but appeared to imply that Europeans risked receiving the same treatment that, he says, is endured by Turks and Muslims in Europe.
“Turkey is not a country whose Ministers can be kicked out, and whose citizens can be kicked around,” Erdogan said at a meeting with members of the Anatolian Publishers Association at the presidential palace in Ankara.
The President’s remarks came amid ongoing tensions with several European countries over their refusal to allow Turkish Ministers to hold public rallies ahead of Turkey’s April 16 referendum.
“As Turkey, we invite the European countries to respect democracy, human rights and freedoms. It should be remembered that Europeans in particular need these values as much as we do”, Erdogan said.
He also criticized again German Chancellor Angela Merkel over her remarks of solidarity with the Netherlands, a country Erdogan said “closed its door to Turkish Ministers,” and “let its dogs loose on my [Turkish] citizens”.
“So, you say you are standing by the Netherlands. Fine. Then I am standing by my people and God,” Erdogan stated.
Ankara-Anatolia News Agency