Turkish minister decries EU's 'senseless' demands to continue fulfilling refugee deal

Posted March 21, 2017

"If Turkey really is a state under the rule of law as Mr Erdogan claims, I ask myself how he already knows and can say before the start of a trial that Deniz Yucel is a terrorist and a spy", Gabriel told German magazine Der Spiegel in an interview that will be published on Saturday.

Days before the first anniversary of a landmark refugee deal with the European Union, Turkey's foreign minister has vowed to "cancel" it, widening the diplomatic row with the Netherlands and Germany amid a general debate on Ankara's long standing bid to join the block.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is courting Turks overseas for support in a referendum due to be held on 16 April that would reform Turkey's parliamentary democracy into an executive presidency, similar to the United States.

Erdogan has repeatedly accused Germany and the Netherlands of behaving like "Nazis", comments that have left The Hague and Berlin aghast and prompted warnings from Brussels for the Turkish strongman to show moderation. I'm telling you Europe, do you have that courage?

However, some German districts stopped rallies going ahead, and the Netherlands imposed a blanket ban and even blocked a Turkish minister's plane from landing to stop him attending.

According to a Turkish Interior Ministry report, which was released on February, the total number of refugees in Turkey is now over 3.5 million and Turkey has spent more than 25 million U.S. dollars on looking after refugees up until now.

"Hey Rutte! You may have emerged as the No. 1 party in the election but you must know that you have lost Turkey as your friend", he said.

Analysts say Erdogan is happy to pick a fight with Europe in a drive for nationalist votes that could prove crucial in determining the outcome of what is expected to be a tight referendum.

"If you want, we'll send the 15,000 refugees to you that we don't send each month and blow your mind", said Süleyman Soylu on Thursday evening.

On Friday a Turkish pro-government newspaper depicted Chancellor Angela Merkel in a Nazi uniform with a Hitler-style moustache, labelling the German leader "She Hitler".

Juncker warned that talks on Turkey's accession to the European Union would automatically end if Ankara were to re-introduce the death penalty.

A Turkey-European deal to stop the flow of refugees into Europe has made seeking refuge in the continent "mission impossible" as vulnerable people stuck in camps in Greece suffer serious mental illnesses, according to a number of nongovernmental organisations. Let us remind you that you can not play games in this region and ignore Turkey, ' he added.