World Bulletin/News Desk
Ilnur Cevik, a senior advisor to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, emphasized on Sunday that Islamophobia and xenophobia in Europe were on the rise and there was enmity towards Turkish minorities in countries such as Germany, Austria, Netherlands and Belgium.
Speaking during the Turkish-British Tatlidil Forum in southern Antalya province, Cevik said that the "hostility, insecurity and dissonance towards the Turks" in Europe had to be resolved as soon as possible and Europeans should see that European values such as human rights and freedoms were being shattered, underlining that severe far-right logic and extremism toward minorities were rising in Europe.
The Tatlidil Forum, established in 2011, brings together leading figures from the fields of academia, business, the media and politics to strengthen relations between Turkey and the U.K.
Cevik pointed out that Europe would go back to the terrible Nazi era right before the Second World War, if European peoples don't do anything about it, if they don't say 'this extremist logic has caused many troubles, these fascist views led us to the Second World War', if they don't remember that they were ruined and miserable and if they do not accept that it was a non-civilized behavior to send the Turkish Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya out of their country [Netherlands] without even letting her enter Turkey's Consulate building.
On March 11, the Dutch government first canceled a flight by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and then blocked a convoy carrying Family Minister Kaya, forcing her to leave the country under police escort. The ministers had been due to meet Turkish residents ahead of the referendum vote.
When Turkish citizens in Rotterdam tried to peacefully protest, they were met by police using batons, dogs and water cannons, in what some analysts called a disproportionate use of force.
Turkey has strongly condemned the incidents and suspended high-level diplomatic ties with the Netherlands.
The constitutional changes have been discussed since Erdogan was voted president in August 2014. The 18-article bill was passed by parliament in January, with 339 votes in favor -- nine more than needed to put the proposal to a referendum.
The reforms would hand wide-ranging executive powers to the president and the post of prime minister would be abolished. The president would also be allowed to retain ties to a political party.
Other changes would see the minimum age for parliamentary candidates reduced to 18 and the number of deputies rise to 600. Simultaneous parliamentary and presidential elections for a five-year term would be held in November 2019 under the new constitution.
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