Entornointeligente.com / “Turkey and the Turkish community in Europe have always been a bulwark against terrorism and extremism. To say otherwise is to serve racism and Islamophobia,” Turkey’s Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said. Dutch PVV-leader Geert Wilders reacts during a debate about the coronavirus situation in the House of Representatives in the Hague, the Netherlands, on September 22, 2020. (AFP Archive) Turkish prosecutors have launched an investigation into Geert Wilders, known for his anti-Islam positions, over a tweet in which he vilified President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The chief public prosecutor's office in the capital Ankara said in a statement that the probe involving Wilders, who heads the Party for Freedom, was opened due to a Twitter post “including a photograph and written insult about President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on February15.”
Wilders on Monday had shared a post on Twitter insulting Erdogan and calling NATO to expel Turkey.
Dismissing remarks by Wilders and his “merry band of neo-Nazis” as having never “amounted to anything,” Turkey's Communications Director Fahrettin Altun voiced concern that Europe's “seemingly moderate governments and ostensibly responsible policymakers” appeared to share the far-right politician's views.
Referring to a leaked report by the Dutch National Coordinat or for Counterterrorism and Security (NCTV) containing various claims against the Turkish community in the Netherlands, Altun said the “groundless, biased and ignorant” document should be taken as a greater concern than Wilders.
“Turkey and the Turkish community in Europe have always been a bulwark against terrorism and extremism. To say otherwise is to serve racism and Islamophobia,” said the official.
This is not the first time that the anti-Islam MP has stoked controversy.
READ MORE: Dutch appeals court convicts Wilders of insulting minorities
Earlier in October last year, President Erdogan had filed a complaint after Wilders shared an insulting tweet.
Altun, dismissed Wilders' comments.
“No word that Geert Wilders and his merry band of neo-Nazis ever uttered has amounted to anything. The real danger is that seemingly moderate governments and ostensibly responsible policymakers in Europe seem to concur,” Altun tweeted on Tuesday.
Erdogan's spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, late Monday tweeted a photo of Wilders scrunching his face while pushing a pen against the tip of his nose, accompanied by the word “Imbecile”.
Ankara and The Hague have had tense relations, especially after Turkish ministers were banned from campaigning among Turkish nationals living in the Netherlands during Turkey's constitutional referendum campaign in 2017.