When Campaigns Collide in Europe

MIN READMar 13, 2017 | 22:49 GMT

On March 11, Dutch officials refused to admit two Turkish government ministers to Rotterdam to campaign in support of Ankara's upcoming vote on constitutional reforms. The incident drew backlash from the Netherlands' large Turkish expatriate community.


For politicians in Turkey, the campaign trail can be long indeed. Large communities of Turkish expatriates in the European Union make cities in the bloc popular campaign stops for Turkish candidates during election season. In fact, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a rally in the German city of Karlsruhe prior to his re-election in 2015. But as Germany and the Netherlands -- home to some of the largest Turkish populations in Europe -- gear up for elections of their own, Turkish statesmen have been having a harder time electioneering there. On Saturday, officials in Rotterdam refused to admit a pair of Turkish ministers into the city to campaign on behalf of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) ahead of a landmark referendum in April. The incident touched off a diplomatic row between the Turkish and Dutch governments, just days after tensions flared between Ankara and Berlin. AKP supporters clashed...

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