zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / Mar 14, 2017 6:30 AM
Not long ago, a democratizing Turkey, with the second-largest army in NATO, appeared on track to join the European Union.
That’s not likely now, or perhaps ever.
Last week, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan compared Angela Merkel’s Germany to Hitler’s, said the Netherlands was full of “Nazi remnants” and “fascists,” and suggested the Dutch ambassador go home.
What precipitated Erdogan’s outbursts?
When the Netherlands denied Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu landing rights, he exploded, saying: “The Netherlands … are reminiscent of the Europe of World War II. The same racism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, anti-Semitism.”
When Turkey’s family and social policies minister, Betul Sayan Kaya, drove from Germany to Rotterdam to campaign, Dutch police blocked her from entering the Turkish consulate and escorted her back to Germany.
Liberal Europeans see Erdogan’s referendum as a power grab by an unpredictable and volatile ruler who has fired 100,000 civil servants and jailed 40,000 Turks after last summer’s attempted coup, and is converting his country into a dictatorship.
This crisis was tailor-made for Geert Wilders, the anti-EU, anti-Muslim Dutch nationalist who is on the ballot in Wednesday’s Dutch general election.