World Bulletin / News Desk
The leader of Turkey’s opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Monday urged voters of Turkish origin in the Netherlands to head to the polls for a big turnout on Wednesday’s general elections there.
On Twitter, Devlet Bahceli said that the Dutch elections would be a historical opportunity for democratization.
"I hereby call on people of Turkish origin and Turkish citizens living in the Netherlands: Don’t forget those [politicians and political parties] who inflamed Turkish-Dutch relations."
He urged people not to “make concessions to parties which insult the Turkish nation, who abuse and assault our values with barbarity and vulgar displays of power."
Ahead of the polls, far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders had said people with dual citizenship should not have the right to vote.
Bahceli's remarks also came after the Dutch government blocked both Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya from holding rallies there Saturday.
When Turkish citizens in the Rotterdam peacefully protested these developments, they were met by police using batons, dogs and water cannons, in what some analysts called a disproportionate use of force.
Earlier on Monday, Ankara sent diplomatic notes to the Netherlands protesting these incidents.
- ‘Example for Europe’
Bahceli also slammed some European countries for backing the No side in Turkey’s upcoming constitutional referendum. "Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Norway, Sweden and slyly the United Kingdom are scared of Turkey changing its system of its own will."
Bahceli said that the referendum in Turkey would be an example of real democracy for countries in Europe still under constitutional monarchy.
He stressed: "I believe that the [constitutional] system changing in Turkey will serve to encourage democratization in Europe."
Constitutional reform and the change to a presidential system has been on the political agenda since Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a former prime minister and Justice and Development (AK) Party leader, was elected president in August 2014.
On Jan. 20, Turkish lawmakers from the ruling AK Party and the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) voted in favor of a new constitutional reform package.
Aside from the change to an executive presidency, other reforms include allowing the president to maintain party political affiliation.
There would also be changes to Turkey’s highest judicial body, which would be renamed while retaining its independence and own budget.
Turkish presidential spokesperson marks 44th anniversary of Cyprus Peace Operation to protect island's Turkish population
In a joint statement, the two countries said their foreign ministers met on the sidelines of last week's NATO summit in Brussels and "agreed to normalise the diplomatic relations between the Netherlands and Turkey.
Two countries' relations contribute to bilateral trade, head of business council says
Migrants held in Erzurum, Erzincan, Van and Kirsehir provinces
Over 5,500 new companies established last month, according to major business body
Feleknas Uca and Mehmet Rustu Tiryaki attended funeral of a PKK terrorist in southeastern Batman province
Former police chiefs among suspects accused of trying to overthrow the government
Weapon emplacements, shelters destroyed in Avasin-Basyan, Zap and Hakurk regions
Ibrahim Kalin calls on international community to react against injustice happening before the world’s eyes
Main opposition dilemma: Former presidential candidate Muharrem Ince to replace current leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu?
Migrants rounded up in northwestern Edirne, Canakkale and eastern Van provinces
Government declared state of emergency for first time on July 20, 2016 following FETO's deadly coup attempt
Adnan Oktar's shady group is accused of numerous crimes, including child sexual abuse
Anti-narcotics units conduct operation in districts on European side of province
Substance called fubinaca used to produce the drug bonsai also seized
Acting head of Mediterranean Exporters' Association says Japanese market is important opportunity for Turkish food brands