Erdogan says Europe treating Muslims like Jews during WWII
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Erdogan says Europe treating Muslims like Jews during WWII

Turkish president warns 'spirit of fascism running wild on streets of Europe' as 'Islamophobia is mounting'

A man pulls a cart in front of a huge portrait of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Taksim Square in Istanbul on March 15, 2017. (AFP Photo/Bulent Kilic)
A man pulls a cart in front of a huge portrait of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Taksim Square in Istanbul on March 15, 2017. (AFP Photo/Bulent Kilic)

ISTANBUL — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday said the “spirit of fascism” was rampant on the streets of Europe, comparing the treatment of non-Europeans there to that of the Jews in World War II.

“The Jews were treated the same in the past,” he said, referring to the persecution of Jews under Nazi Germany, which carried out a systematic plan to annihilate Europe’s Jews in the Holocaust.

“Europe is heading towards being drowned in its own fears,” Erdogan said, referring to the rise of the far right in the continent over the last years.

“The spirit of fascism is running wild on the streets of Europe,” Erdogan said in a televised speech after clashes that followed the blocking of Turkish ministers from giving speeches in support of reforms giving him extra powers.

“Turkophobia is mounting. Islamophobia is mounting. They are even scared of migrants who take shelter.

“They are scared of everything which is not from there, they are hostile to everything which is not from there.”

The blocking of Turkish ministers by the Dutch authorities during the weekend had been followed by protests in Rotterdam where the local police used horses and dogs to disperse the pro-Turkey protesters.

The images were highlighted in the pro-government Turkey press, provoking an angry reaction.

Turkey and the European Union are going through their most explosive crisis after key EU members The Netherlands and Germany blocked Turkish ministers from holding rallies to back constitutional changes expanding Erdogan’s powers.

Erdogan has repeatedly accused the two countries of behaving like “Nazis”, comments that have left The Hague and Berlin aghast.

Erdogan on Tuesday caused further anger by bringing up the Srebrenica massacre of 1995, where Dutch UN peacekeepers failed to prevent the killing of 8,000 Bosnian Muslims by Bosnian Serbs.

On Wednesday he went further, accusing the Netherlands of massacring over 8,000 Bosnian Muslims at Srebrenica.

“They have nothing to do with civilization, they have nothing to do with modern world,” Erdogan said in a new onslaught against the Netherlands.

“They are the ones who massacred over 8,000 Bosnian Muslims… in the Srebrenica massacre.”

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