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POLITICS >‘Migrants should not be used as diplomatic weapon’: MHP leader

Umut Erdem - ANKARA

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The humanitarian crisis should not be used for the benefit of the nation, opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has said, urging to maintain calmness over the escalating diplomatic crisis with the Netherlands and Germany.

“The migrant issue should not be exploited in retaliation. Patience is needed. It is not right to use the people who have come to Turkey as refugees as another weapon against Europe,” Bahçeli told daily Hürriyet on March 15.

“You cannot use those escaping guns by transforming them into a more silent weapon and use them somewhere else with a diplomatic guise,” he said. 

Bahçeli said the recent diplomatic crisis with the Netherlands and Germany should be approached with patience and calmness.

Stressing Turkey’s history of EU accession, Bahçeli said “the 53 years of the process” has created a Turkish community in Europe, whom should have a say in European politics. 

“The people who have the right to citizenship there have contributed to the democratization process there. Right now, there are 144 Turkish lawmakers in European countries. In such a situation, when relations have intensified, the reason behind the Netherlands, France, Belgium and Denmark’s attitude toward Turkey should be examined very carefully,” Bahçeli said. 

“My opinion is that Europe has entered a period of collapse and dissolution. The Copenhagen criteria are now needed in Europe. There is no explanation to those who have to wait for April 16 respectfully to bear hostility toward Turkey along with some elements they have contacted in Turkey,” he said, calling out to the Turkish voters in the Netherlands to choose a party that “can be in harmony with Turkey and ensure social peace in the Netherlands.”

When asked whether Turkish authorities should show patience, Bahçeli said that “after some point, there is a need to think about Turkey and be aware of the resentment nourished against Turkey.”

“To confine a woman in a car in a foreign country is to imprison the will of the Turks. It is not possible to accept it. By taking advantage of this, the ruling power in Turkey can be criticized, but criticism as the people of this country is to a certain extent,” he said, reiterating his earlier comments that he would join President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in his plans to go to Germany despite the restrictions. 

“If the President of the Turkish Republic is coming and they say ‘we will not allow,’ then we will adopt an understanding that the ‘Turkish nation is behind him.’ In such a journey, if he goes, I will also go,” he added.

March/16/2017

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