Turkey has threatened to flood Europe with millions of potential terrorists following an escalation in tensions between Turkish and European authorities.
Diplomatic relations between Turkey and the Netherlands have reached a new low, with Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus claiming that politicians in Europe live under a “facist, neo nazi influence.” This comes after the Dutch government banned Turkish ministers from campaigning in the country.
In response, Turkey has now threatened to impose travel sanctions on European politicians and cancel the migrant deal with Europe – which could lead to millions of refugees flooding into the continent.
Kurtulmus said during a news conference following a weekly cabinet meeting that Ankara also is closing its air space to Dutch diplomats until the Netherlands meets Turkish requests, according to the AP.
Kurtulmus also says the Dutch ambassador to Turkey, who was traveling when the diplomatic row started, won’t be allowed to return, and said that Turkey’s government plans to advise parliament to withdraw from a Dutch-Turkish friendship group.
It was unclear what the sudden Turkish escalation means for economic ties between the two nations: as a reminder, Dutch direct investment in Turkey amounts to $22 billion, making the Netherlands the biggest source of foreign investment with a share of 16%. Furthermore, Turkish exports to the Netherlands totalled $3.6 billion in 2016, making it the tenth largest market for Turkish goods, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute. Turkey imported $3 billion worth of Dutch goods in 2016. Should the diplomatic spat lead to a collapse in trade relations, a Turkey recession is all but assured.
Kurtulmus said the political sanctions will apply until the Netherlands takes steps to “redress” its actions. He said: “There is a crisis and a very deep one. We didn’t create this crisis or bring to this stage.”
However the most troubling development, and one which has the potential to sway the outcome of the Dutch election which will be held in less than two days, is that in the final power play aimed towards Merkel, Kurtulmus exclaimed that since “Europe has not kept its promises on the migrant deal, for us that agreement has ended.”