Anti-Islam sentiment is pushing Europe towards “wars of religion,” Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Thursday.
His remarks followed the election in the Netherlands of Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who fended off anti-Islam Anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders – a victory seen as a rebuke of the rising wave of nationalism in Europe.
But reaction was less enthusiastic in Turkey, which has been involved in a diplomatic row with the Dutch.
“Many parties have received a similar share of votes. Seventeen percent, 20 percent, there are lots of parties like this, but they are all the same,” Cavusoglu said at a rally in the southern city of Antalya, Reuters reported.
There is no difference between the mindsets of Geert Wilders and social democrats in the Netherlands. They all have the same mindset…. That mindset is taking Europe to the cliff. Soon wars of religion may and will start in Europe.”
In its dispute with the Netherlands, Turkey suspended high-level relations with the Netherlands after the Dutch cited public safety in banning its ministers from addressing expatriate Turks.
The ex-pats’ votes are being sought in a campaign for a referendum that would give President Tayyip Erdogan sweeping new powers in a vote April 16.
Erdogan, Reuters reported, has accused the Dutch government of acting like “Nazi remnants.”