EU slams Turkey’s Nazi jibes as ‘detached from reality’
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EU slams Turkey’s Nazi jibes as ‘detached from reality’

European leaders say comparing the Netherlands and Germany to Third Reich incompatible with Ankara's ambitions to join bloc

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (L) and European Council President Donald Tusk (R) arrive for a press conference after the second day of a European Summit at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on March 10, 2017. (AFP/John Thys)
EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (L) and European Council President Donald Tusk (R) arrive for a press conference after the second day of a European Summit at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on March 10, 2017. (AFP/John Thys)

STRAUSBOURG, France — EU chiefs on Wednesday blasted Turkey’s Nazi comparisons with the Netherlands and Germany as “detached from reality” and incompatible with its ambitions to join the bloc.

The EU comments came as Dutch voters went to the polls in a key test of right-wing populist strength ahead of elections in France and Germany later this year.

But the Dutch vote has been overshadowed by a blazing diplomatic row after the government banned Turkish ministers from addressing a pro-Ankara rally in Rotterdam.

European Union president Donald Tusk said no one could make comparisons between events in Rotterdam and the Nazi period, when the city was “brutally destroyed” by the Germans.

“If anyone sees fascism in Rotterdam, they are completely detached from reality. We all show solidarity with the Netherlands,” Tusk told the European Parliament in the French city of Strasbourg.

Tusk repeated the statement in Dutch to applause from MEPs.

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said he was “scandalized” by the Turkish government’s Nazi comments.

“I will never accept this comparison between the Nazis and the (modern-day) governments,” Juncker said.

“If you are establishing a comparison with that period this is totally unacceptable. The one who is doing this is taking distance from Europe and not trying to enter Europe,” he said.

Turkey resumed long-stalled accession talks with the EU in 2005 but they have made little progress since.

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