Turkish FM: Religious wars will break out in Europe soon

Turkey's controversial foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu addresses local businessmen in Antalya, 15 March 2017, (Twitter: MC)

Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, has said Europe would find itself engulfed in religious wars soon.

Speaking at an event in Antalya on Wednesday, the foreign minister, who has been embroiled in a diplomatic row with several EU countries, commented on the general elections in the Netherlands saying none of the parties were different from each other.

Referring to the 30 year wars between Catholics and Protestants, Cavusoglu said:

The elections in the Netherlands are over. Look at the voting, some have got 17 percent while others 20 percent, but there’s no difference between the social democrats and fascist Wilders, they all have the same mentality. Where will this take you [Europe], where are you taking Europe, you are going to collapse it. You are taking Europe to the precipice. Soon religious wars will begin in Europe.”

The foreign minister also reiterated previous remarks on imposing sanctions against the Netherlands and said, “Turkey will not be suppressed, we are taking steps [against the Netherlands] and you will see we will continue doing this, just have patience.”

Claiming Europe was against a strong Turkey and wanted a ‘no’ vote in the country’s upcoming constitutional referendum, Cavusoglu stated:

“You [Europe] will learn how to engage with Turkey, you will refrain using dominant rhetoric. Turkey is the one that commands. Because Turkey is [the leader] of the Community of the Faithful [Muslims]. If you speak to us like men and request then we will communicate and make deals.”

The foreign minister was not allowed into the Netherlands last week for a rally in support of the constitutional reform that will grant President Recep Tayyip Erdogan executive presidential powers.

The Turkish government’s only female minister, Betul Fatma Sayan Kaya, was sent in his place but was also prevented from addressing a crowd gathered outside the Turkish Consul General in Rotterdam, leading to clashes between police and protestors.

Commentators have said tensions between the Turkish government and European countries has benefitted the AKP’s constitutional reform campaign. Nationalist fervour in the country has consolidated much of the nationalist vote behind the government.