Leaving aside the current spat between The Netherlands and Turkey which is a different thing altogether, The EU’s diplomatic service is currently trying to punish Turkey for seeking better relations with Russia, after their supporting different sides in the Syria conflict brought the two nations close to war. It is true that NATO member Turkey has recently shown less commitment to the West, but there are probably good reasons for this, starting with the fact that Russia's military might poses an existential threat to Turkey should the two countries not see eye to eye. Then there is the matter of the EU's dangling carrots like associate membership and a fast track to full EU membership in front of the Turkish government, only to withdraw them when EU member states that were once occupied by the old Ottoman Empire threatened to veto any such move.
On top of all that there is the immigration crisis and both sides are guilty of reneging on deals regarding Turkey's role in stemming the flood of illegal immigrants from north African and the middle east to Europe's 'open borders' zone. Diplomatic experts in the west have said Turkey’s relationship with Europe has never seen such a low point.
The EU-Turkey situation has deteriorated over the past few weeks, as pro - Islam rallies sponsored by the Turkish government scheduled to take place in major European countries, including Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Austria the have been cancelled, or certain Turkish officials were barred from attending on grounds that their presence was likely to inflame tensions between the local population and Islamic migrants. It is thought however that the actions are intended to show Turkey that the EU and NATO will decide which nations it can choose as allies. We anticipate further deterioration in Turkey / EU relations.
Turkish politicians seeking to address expatriates in European Union nations are involved in campaigning ahead of a constitutional referendum which will take place on April 16. They are trying to drum up support among the large communities of Turks living in Europe. A ‘yes’ vote in the referendum would give Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the power to rule as an autocrat.
Campaigning among migrant communities has been hampered by law enforcement agencies in several European nations, leading Turkey to claim that there is a concerted effort to undermine the referendum among countries that have been critical of Ankara’s crackdown on the opposition following an attempted military coup last year. May commentators, including western journalist in Turkey and locals have claimed the 'coup' was staged by Erdogan to justify exactly the kind of power grab he is attempting.
Erdogan criticized the bans, calling the EU fascist and Nazi. The Turkish president also threatened the EU, saying “they will certainly pay the price and also learn what diplomacy is. We will teach them international diplomacy."
Dutch authorities imposed bans on several Turkish political speakers, on the grounds that the inflammatory rhetoric which is the trade mark of middle eastern politics would be inappropriate in the run up to the general election in Netherlands later this week. On Saturday (11 March, 2016), the Netherlands prevented Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu from speaking in Rotterdam and, later the same day refused to allow Turkish Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya from visiting the city’s Turkish consulate. She was deported to Germany.
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