STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said on Monday that the Turkish president’s mention of Nazism and fascism during a diplomatic row with the Netherlands was unacceptable.
“It is true that when one mentions Nazism and fascism....it’s unacceptable,” Ayrault told reporters, during a news conference held with his Swedish counterpart.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, who is seeking support from Turks in a referendum on boosting his powers, has said the Netherlands is acting like a “banana republic” and should face sanctions for barring his ministers from speaking in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam.
On March 11, Erdogan branded the Netherlands as “Nazi remnants, fascists”, while a day later Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu described the Netherlands as the “capital of fascism”.
The row marks another low point in relations between Turkey and Europe, further dimming Ankara’s prospects of joining the bloc. It also comes as Turkey is caught up by security concerns over militant attacks and the war in neighbouring Syria.
Ayrault called on all sides to end the diplomatic row, adding that Turkey should respect the European convention on human rights.
Reporting by John Irish; Writing by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Adrian Croft