I think it rocks Geert Wilders mind that Turkey and the Netherlands have had a relationship for 400 years.
Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders, a key ally for the ruling Liberal-Christian Democrat coalition, said on Saturday he opposed a planned visit by Turkish President Abdullah Gul because Turkey is an “Islamist regime”.
Wilders, whose party is the third-largest in the Dutch parliament and opposes closer ties between Europe and Turkey, backs the Dutch minority government in return for tougher immigration and integration rules.
Gul has been invited to visit the Netherlands next year, when the two countries will celebrate 400 years of relations.
Wilders said in a commentary in the Dutch daily De Volkskrant that Gul should stay in Ankara.
“There is nothing to celebrate. The Islamist regime of Gul and his party member and Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is not a true friend of the West and therefore neither of the Netherlands,” Wilders said.
“Everywhere Erdogan comes, he calls on Turkish immigrants to not adapt. Turkey does not want to become European but wants to islamise Europe,” Wilders said.
While Erdogan heads a political party with roots in political Islam, Turkey is a constitutionally secular democracy.
A Dutch parliamentary committee cancelled a visit to Turkey in 2009 after Turkish government officials refused to meet Wilders, who has compared Islam to Nazism but was acquitted of hate speech in June.
In 2009, a Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman was quoted by Dutch public broadcaster NOS as calling Wilders a racist who was not welcome in Turkey.
Wilders said in his article that Islam was “fundamentally intolerant” of Judaism, Christianity and humanism.
Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal said that Gul’s visit was in line with the long relationship between the nations and the celebrations would focus on mutual economic interests.
Officials at the Turkish embassy in The Hague were not immediately available for comment.