Europe’s mask has come off and its real face has been revealed to the world following recent bans on Turkish ministers by Germany and the Netherlands, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday.
Speaking at the International Benevolence Awards at the Halic Congress Center in Istanbul, Erdogan said the recent events in Europe show some of the “signs of increasing fascism, racism, and Islamophobia" in that part of the world.
He termed the ban on Turkish ministers who just wanted to meet their expat community as "a manifestation of Islamophobic developments”.
"The West has thrown off its mask in the past days," Erdogan said.
He thanked France for not "getting involved in such games".
Last week, Turkish ministers were barred from holding public rallies in two German cities ahead of the April 16 referendum in Turkey.
On Saturday, the Dutch government first canceled the Turkish foreign minister's flight permit to the Netherlands and then blocked a convoy carrying Turkey’s family minister from entering the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam.
The ministers were also due to meet Turkish residents ahead of the April 16 referendum on constitutional reforms.
He rejected all justifications being made for the ban on Turkish ministers.
"Will they say they did not invite [the ministers]?
"I can go to any country with my passport, both as a diplomat and within the frame of the freedom of travel," he said.
Reiterating his previous comparison of such moves to Nazi-era practices, Erdogan said the Netherlands "went too far by not allowing the consul general outside the consulate [to meet Turkey’s female family minister].”
Last week, Erdogan also compared German bans of Turkish referendum rallies to Nazi practices.
Turkish President said the countries involved in such acts against the Turkey would soon "learn what international diplomacy is".
About the upcoming election in the Netherlands, he said Turkey would closely watch the election results and decide on its future stance on the European country.
"If you are sacrificing Turkish-Dutch relations for an election, you will pay the price," he added.