Exactly one year after the attacks that killed thirty-two people and injured hundreds in Zaventem Airport and Maelbeek Metro Station in the Belgian capital Brussels, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Europeans across the world would not be able to walk safely on their streets if European countries continued with their current attitude towards Turkey.
“I am addressing Europe once again: Turkey is not a country to push and pull around, we are not a country whose ministers you can deport. What is happening is being watched by everyone around the world. If Europe continues this way, no European in any part of the world can walk safely in the streets. We, as Turkey, call on Europe to respect fundamental human rights,” Erdogan said at an event for local journalists in Ankara.
While ceremonies are being held in Brussels on Wednesday for the mourning of the victims of the attacks, Erdogan’s warnings echoed those of last year when he had warned Europe and Brussels in particular.
“There is no reason for the bomb, which exploded in Ankara, not to explode in Brussels … or in any other city in Europe,” Erdogan said in 2016, only four days prior to the attacks that shocked the European capital.
A court document obtained by Kom News earlier this month showed that one of the suicide bombers who blew himself up at Zaventem Airport, Ibrahim el Bakraoui (also implicated in the Paris massacre in November 2015), was prohibited from leaving Turkey at the time of his deportation and should have been arrested instead of being deported to the Netherlands.