Turkey threatens to end migrant deal with European Union amid spat

Erdogan and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also took aim at the Netherlands on Thursday despite the previous day's election result, in which Dutch voters rejected right-wing populist Geert Wilders and his Islamophobic and anti-immigration platform. "They all have the same mindset.That mindset is taking Europe to the cliff", he said.

The Turkish president has also said Europe is regressing to the pre-World War II era.

Despite Turkey's previous criticism of the virulently anti-Islam Wilders, Cavusoglu told a Turkish broadcaster on Thursday that there was "no difference" between the liberal Rutte and "fascist" Wilders.

The Turkish President accused an European Union ruling, which allows employers to ban employees from wearing the Islamic headscarf, of starting a struggle between Christian "cross" and "crescent" of Islamic world, media reports said.

He accused Europe of failing to help Turkey enter the bloc and of not helping with its fight against terror. "They started a clash between the cross and the crescent, there is no other explanation".

Tensions between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies have spiked since Turkey arrested a German-Turkish journalist last month, and after Erdogan accused Germany of "fascist actions" after local officials canceled some rallies in support of the referendum.

Cavusoglu also predicted that "religious wars" will start in Europe due to the rise of the far right.

Analysts say the Turkish strongman wants to be seen as standing up to Europe so he can sweep up nationalist votes ahead of the April 16 referendum on constitutional changes.

The minister later insisted Turkey was "not using refugees as a weapon".

"We can stop it (the deal) unilaterally".

The European Court of Justice said it does not constitute "direct discrimination" if a firm has an internal rule banning the wearing of "any political, philosophical or religious sign". "From now on, we can say "we will not apply it and it will be over", Mr Cavusoglu said in a TV interview.

Mr Erdogan has repeatedly accused the European Union of acting like "Nazis", and ignored all appeals to stop using such inflammatory language.

The French and German leaders on Thursday jointly condemned Mr Erdogan's Nazi comparisons as "unacceptable" and the European commission said it expected Turkey to honour the accord on migration as "an engagement of mutual trust and delivery".

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