Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has taken the bubbling feud between his country and several European Union members to the next level, implying that Turkey will take hostile actions against Europe – and the West as a whole – if he does not get his way.
“If you continue to behave like this, not a single European, not a single Westerner will be able to take a step on the road safely anytime in the world,” Erdogan ominously said at a press conference on Wednesday. “We as Turkey are calling on Europe to respect human rights and democracy.”
Turkish expatriates living within Germany and the Netherlands have proved problematic to those countries’ governments over the last year. In July, tens of thousands of Erdogan’s supporters took to the street of Cologne, Germany, to offer support for the authoritarian president after a failed coup attempt saw Erdogan’s government clamp down on dissent within the country.
As many as 40,000 protesters flooded the streets of Germany, which is home to a whopping three million ethnic Turks. When Germany’s constitutional court decided to prohibit live speeches from Turkey in order to prevent riling up the crowd even further, Turkish ministers decried the move as a violation of its freedoms.
A similar scuffle emerged a few weeks ago in the Netherlands when authorities refused entry to two Turkish ministers, only to spark a riot in the streets of Rotterdam involving hundreds of ethnic Turks, as well as Erdogan’s suspension of high-level Diplomatic relations with the Dutch.
Now, Turkey is threatening to scuttle a deal it made with the EU to accept hundreds of migrants per day, and instead ship 15,000 migrants a month to a Europe that is already struggling under the burden of its sudden influx of refugees.