After the Netherlands-based, Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) -affiliated newspaper Zaman Vandaag was renamed Kanttekening last week, the newspaper's Editor-in-Chief Mehmet Cerit attended a program at NTR, a Dutch state-run TV station. Throughout the broadcast, the host reminded Cerit of his previous offensive remarks against Muslims in which he said: "Muslims must not grow stronger. If they do, they cannot handle the power and end up misusing it. Muslims have money but no brain cells. They would be more dangerous as they get stronger." The host asked whether he thought the same way about FETÖ leader Fethullah Gülen. Unable to hide his bewilderment upon the question, Cerit answered with difficulty: "Muslims have a problem on the issue of power."
According to statements Cerit previously made to the press, his nephews call him "terrorist" and "spy" while his father warned him against insulting the president out of respect for his office. Maintaining his offensive remarks against Muslims and attempting to represent Muslims as radicals during the program, Cerit said FETÖ is "quite different." Publishing articles that provoke Muslims, such as the one suggesting that violins should be played instead of reciting the azan (call to prayer), Cerit had in one report revealed the names of Turkish citizens who were subjected to police brutality in Rotterdam as "the persons searched by police."
FETÖ has been publishing newspapers under various names across Europe by removing the name "Zaman" and the latest indication of this is seen in the step taken in the Netherlands. The renaming of Zaman Vandaag was announced as a policy change to cover more news reports pertinent to the Netherlands. However, the Turkish community in the country believes that this change is part of a new strategy. It is thought that FETÖ aims to make itself accepted in Europe by smearing the reputations of Muslims and Turkish citizens through various media outlets.In the first issue of the newspaper published by Cerit, an article targeting Turkish-Dutch parliament members Tunahan Kuzu and Selçuk Öztürk was penned and, in the latest election held in the Netherlands, the Denk party- founded by Turks discharged from the Labor Party - became the actual winner in the election by securing three parliamentary seats. Founded by Kuzu and Öztürk, who were discharged from their previous party after refraining from giving a vote of confidence for the party's integration policy, the Denk party has three chairs in Dutch parliament.
Speaking about counterterror operations launched in southeastern Turkey, Cerit used the rhetoric of the PKK terrorist organization, suggesting the need for international intervention in Turkey while making affronting remarks on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. "In Turkey, Erdoğan's regime is killing the Kurds. If Erdoğan's dictatorship perseveres in Turkey, Europe will be confronted with a massive wave of immigration; comprised this time of Kurdish refugees. Europe must urgently intervene in the regime of dictator Erdoğan in Turkey," Cerit said.
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