Turkey-Netherlands fight a sham: opposition party MP

Ertugrul Kurkcu, People's Democratic Party (HDP) Deputy

Turkey’s opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MP Ertugrul Kurkcu has made statements about the diplomatic crisis between Turkey and the Netherlands following the banning of Turkish government minister’s from entering the Netherlands.

Kurkcu said, “this is a sham fight between Turkey and the Netherlands. The AKP has finally managed to achieve the polarisation which it wanted but couldn’t succeed in Turkey.”

The Netherlands cancelled Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s flight into Rotterdam on Saturday. The foreign minister was supposed to travel to the country for a meeting with Turkish expatriates on the upcoming constitutional referendum in Turkey. Separately, F. Betul Sayan Kaya, the Minister of Family and Social Policies, was stopped with armed vehicles near Rotterdam’s Turkish Consulate in the Netherlands.

Speaking to a Turkish news outlet, Kurkcu said, “The AKP has been trying to create political polarisation in Turkey for a long time. Ultimately, they have imported this polarisation from the Netherlands. The incidents are related to the tactical interests of both sides.”

The HDP deputy also spoke about President Erdogan’s initial statements straight after the crisis and said, “The government is able to do what is necessary if it believes it was offended. But instead, the Turkish government will just seek to benefit from the situation until the referendum in April. Mutually, both countries will use the advantages of this ‘crisis’.”

The veteran politician also evaluated the referendum process and recent poll results in Turkey. According to Kurkcu, until the referendum the AKP will try to boost the ‘yes’ votes, which is now around 40%, to 50% by creating ‘artificial tensions’.

“For conscious voters, these incidents change nothing. These kind of situations are not vital for those citizens to act in another way. Maybe, some little groups of people who act based on ‘national pride’ may change their minds but that is all.”

According to a poll by Eurasia Survey Centre, 56% of the people it surveyed were against the new constitution proposed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and backed in parliament by the ultra-right wing Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). Turkey’s constitutional referendum is set for 16 April.