The reason lying behind the scandal in the Netherlands on Saturday night was the European countries' syndrome of anti-Turkey oppression
U.S. President Donald Trump's anti-democratic practices are criticized, considered a bad example and are being reined in all over the world. In Europe, not siding with Trump is considered the right attitude. But is Europe aware of the fact that its approach toward Turkey is no different from the practices of Trump, who introduced a travel ban on the citizens of seven Muslim countries and closed the country's doors to Syrian refugees?
Lately, planned speeches by the Turkish justice, economy and foreign ministers have been banned in Germany. Following that, the Netherlands prevented Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu's plane from landing, and additionally Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya was stopped on her way to the Turkish Consulate in the Netherlands. Also, the Dutch police used guard dogs to disperse people who gathered to protest the incidents as part of their democratic rights. All these incidents suggest a far more illiberal and anti-democratic picture than Trump's America. Priding itself on being a beacon of liberal democracy, the Netherlands will most certainly be ashamed of what it has done when the frenzy caused by the election ceases.
Meanwhile, some circles in Turkey have claimed for a couple of days that the government contradicts itself since Turkish laws predicate a ban on making propaganda abroad. In 2008, an amendment was made in the election law in order to establish ballot boxes at representative offices and missions. In this respect, an article was added to the law to prevent the inhibition of such activities by the relevant authorities. However, as renowned legal expert Prof. Ersan Şen states, the concept of propaganda does not encompass all kinds of meetings pertinent to an election or a referendum. Otherwise, no informative speech could be delivered to our citizens living abroad, which is against the nature of having an electorate. So, the ones endeavoring to justify the unlawful activities of the Netherlands and Germany must not cling to the argument above. As Şen expressed in one of his articles on the subject, "...in the framework of the European Convention on Human Rights and Turkish laws, there is no legal inconvenience in organizing meetings on the constitutional amendments and explicating the pros and cons of the proposed changes."
It is also evident that Europe has undergone a colossal transformation over the last couple of years. In July 2013, after the military coup in Egypt and the Gezi Park incidents in Turkey, a rally was organized in Cologne, Germany to show support to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and democracy. At that time, German authorities saw no harm in Erdoğan's participation in the rally via teleconference. Erdoğan addressed some 50,000 people in the rally via a video call.
However, the same German laws found Erdoğan's video call inconvenient as part of a democracy rally organized in Düsseldorf following the July 15 coup attempt, prohibiting his video call on the grounds that it would be unlawful.
It is obvious that no legal principle can be cited with regard to the practices in Europe. European governments have been implementing a policy of oppression and alienation on President Erdoğan and the Justice and Development Party (AK Party). This wave, ignited by the Gezi Park incidents and gradually building since then, has been repelled by President Erdoğan on many occasions. Those disturbed by Erdoğan's Turkey and wishing to topple it no longer even feel the need to find a way to make their practices appear legal. But what happens is self-explanatory and will bring disgrace to Europe in this stage of history.