Erdogan says Europe treating Muslims like Jews during WWII

Turkey suspends high-level diplomatic relations with Dutch

Dutch officials prevented Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu from landing his plane to seek support among expatriates, expelled another cabinet minister from the country and quelled the ensuing protests by Dutch Turks.

"Europe is heading toward being drowned in its own fears", Erdogan said in a televised speech Wednesday. Some even believe there is a link to Berlin's reported decision to ban symbols used by Kurdish political and military groups, including the flag of YPG militia in Syria as well as a portrait of an outlawed Kurdish party leader.

The widening rift and war of words from an increasingly authoritarian Erdogan has prompted renewed calls among leading MEPs to once again cut short accession negotiations for Turkey to join the EU. And one can understand why some nations might be reluctant to host his appeals for one-man rule - not least if they have been accused, as in the case of Germany, of allowing free rein to terrorists, a term that in official Turkish eyes applies to virtually all Kurds.

Several top Twitter accounts - ranging from Germany's Borussia Dortmund football club, tennis legend Boris Becker, Amnesty International, the French economy ministry and BBC North America - were defaced by pro-Turkey hackers with a message slamming "Nazi Germany" and "Nazi Holland".

Meanwhile, Chancellor Angela Merkel's office said the German leader discussed the tensions between European Union nations and Turkey with French President Francois Hollande in a phone call Thursday. "I say this very openly, Europe is heading toward its pre-World War II days".

The prime minister says he was shocked to see one of the ministers try to get to a Rotterdam rally by auto after the government had made clear she was not welcome.

Hanging in the balance is a deal struck a year ago, under which Turkey agreed to cooperate in stemming the flow of refugees from Syria. Asked if Turkey is using it as leverage against the EU, Weber said that it is not. Wilders was never expected to win Wednesday's Dutch general elections and will likely not be part of any coalition government, but his populist movement will inflict lasting damage on the Netherlands' political future. Such escalation is politically unwise, given the context in which Mr. Erdogan is running his campaign.

In an escalating standoff that risks damaging Turkey's already deteriorating relations with the European Union ahead of the April 16 referendum on constitutional change, Brussels sternly warned Ankara to avoid making the situation worse.

He said Turkey should look at its policy on preventing migrant flows across land borders, although it would keep halting the illegal and unsafe sea crossings as a matter of human responsibility, state media said.

The harshness of Erdogan's rhetoric will make any pretense at restoring the kind of EU-Turkish partnership that existed a decade ago hard, if not impossible.

Turkey says it has suspended high-level diplomatic relations with the Netherlands.

Yet, all sides have called for restraint.

Turkey is a member of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and, on Wednesday, German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen warned against rupturing ties. Protests erupted in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam late yesterday outside the Turkish consulate amid a row with Ankara after Dutch authorities banned the visits of Turkish ministers.

Turkish and German leaders haven't taken their differences beyond verbal attacks.

Erdoğan, whose country has for half a century tried to join the European Union in an agonisingly slow process, said Europe after World War II claimed they "turned a new page for themselves and for the world" by forming the EU.

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