Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Sunday that Europe’s “masquerade ball’ is over as several European countries are now openly “in the field” against Turkey by blocking Turkish ministers’ referendum campaigns on their soil and supporting terrorist groups.
“What has been happening in Europe lately shows that the struggle against my country and against our struggle has moved to a new stage. Those who tried to come at us with their men, with the terrorists they supported and gave guns to, with the spies they bought with a dollar, are now ‘in the field.’ My brothers and sisters, the masquerade ball is over,” Erdoğan said at a rally in İstanbul on Sunday.
Slamming countries such as Germany and the Netherlands for prohibiting Turkish ministers from waging political campaigns within their borders, Erdoğan added: “They set aside diplomacy. They do not have the urge to hide their intentions and cannot hide the discomfort they feel from Turkey, which is growing stronger.”
Erdoğan also accused European countries of supporting Turkey’s opposition groups’ referendum campaigns in Europe against an amendment package that will expand his powers enormously and switch Turkey into an executive presidency.
“They are overtly conducting a ‘no’ campaign through the newspaper headlines that they publish in Turkish,” he said.
Tensions became strained after several Turkish ministers’ rallies in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark and Sweden were canceled by local authorities two weeks ago and Erdoğan accused European countries of employing Nazi tactics.