Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, whose flight clearance for Rotterdam was cancelled by the Netherlands on Saturday, slammed Dutch authorities, saying tulips came to Holland from the Ottomans but failed to make them real men.
“The decision taken by the Netherlands is a scandal in all aspects and is not acceptable,” said Çavuşoğlu at İstanbul Atatürk Airport on Saturday.
Recalling that he had campaigned before previous elections in Rotterdam, Çavuşoğlu said: “What has changed now that you won’t allow it? Why are you taking a side in this referendum? Why have the referendum and new system disturbed you so much that you are trying to prevent it?”
Likening the statements made by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to those made by Far-right Freedom Party head Geert Wilders, Çavuşoğlu said Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders rejected his proposal to hold campaign rallies after upcoming elections in the Netherlands.
Çavuşoğlu expressed uneasiness with the statement by Rutte: “He said, ‘We do not want to see the Turkish foreign minister here before or after the elections.’ Even more cheaply he said, ‘The Turkish foreign minister can come to see our museums and our tulips’.”
Calling Rutte’s statement shameful, Çavuşoğlu added: “Tulips were sent to Holland from Turkey during the time of the Ottomans. It seems that the tulips have not made the prime minister and racist politicians in the Netherland real men. If tulips would be useful, we can send them new ones so that they can be real men, a little.”
Underlining that the decision of the Dutch government made Wilders happy, the foreign minister continued: “OK, what is the difference between the prime minister who took this decision and Wilders? There is no difference. The same mentality, the same mindset, the same fascism.”
“We will give them the response they deserve,” added Çavuşoğlu.