Conservative Dutch PM hopeful can thank Erdogan in advance for win, according to social media

Published March 12th, 2017 - 10:43 GMT
People gesture and wave flags as Turkish residents of the Netherlands gather for a protest outside Turkey's consulate in Rotterdam on March 11, 2017. [AFP/Emmanuel Dunand]
People gesture and wave flags as Turkish residents of the Netherlands gather for a protest outside Turkey's consulate in Rotterdam on March 11, 2017. [AFP/Emmanuel Dunand]

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has characterized the Dutch government as having elements of Nazism and Fascism, according to an article by the BBC, in response to the Netherlands standing in the way of his efforts to gather votes for the upcoming Turkish referrendum in April.

The Dutch government’s decision to ban Turkish politicians from visiting the Netherlands, including a Turkish MP who was trying to campaign on behalf of Erdogan and whose plane was turned away, sparked protests in front of the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam.

The Netherlands house a sizeable Turkish minority; Erdogan has been trying to woo the Turkish diaspora in Europe to back him on a controversial referendum, which would, among other things, give him the executive powers to dissolve parliament and essentially destroy any checks and balances currently in the Turkish government.

Social media went awry with a mix of dark humor and conspiracy theories as users reacted to Erdogan, the protests in the wake of the upcoming Dutch election, and the link between them all.

Take, for instance, this user, who seems to think that Erdogan and Geert Wilders, an anti-Islam conservative hardliner running for prime minister of the Netherlands, are in cahoots with each other:

Note: Turkey is a Muslim-majority country, and Islam is the religion of many European Turks.

This person not only blames Erdogan for aiding the alt-right Dutch politician in his political endeavors, but also strives to prove the Turkish President’s political influence in other European states:

One user went conspiracy theory all the way:

Meanwhile, this user wisely noted that the timing for Wilder’s campaign couldn’t have been better:

And this user claimed that the Dutch government’s decisions to ban foreign campaigning in the Netherlands was actually counterproductive:

Lastly, there were this dazed Twitter user’s musings about the current state of affairs:

The Erdogan-induced uproar comes three days before the Dutch general election, in which one of the frontrunners is a Trump-esque, blatantly anti-Islam candidate, Geert Wilders. The ultra-conservative politician is seen by some to be bigoted and racist, while others claim he will help take back the Netherlands from its Muslim immigrant population. Geert is one of many populist candidates on the rise across the West who have capitalized on people's dissatisfaction with the status quo regarding immigration in their respective countries.

LM

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