Turkish prosecutors on Tuesday launched an investigation into Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders over a tweet in which he wrote “terrorist” accompanying an image of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Agence France-Presse reported.
Wilders tweeted an image on Monday of Erdoğan, with the right side of his face depicted against a Turkish flag, and the left side — bearded and darker-skinned — against the black-and-white flag of the Islamic State extremist group.
He wrote the word “Terrorist” over the image, which was shared and liked thousands of times.
The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office said it was opening a probe into the “photograph and written insult about” Erdoğan.
This is not the first time anti-Islam MP Wilders has outraged Ankara.
Erdoğan filed a complaint in October after Wilders shared a cartoon of him wearing an Ottoman hat shaped like a bomb with a lit fuse on Twitter and the word “Terrorist.”
The Turkish president’s top press aide, Fahrettin Altun, dismissed Wilders’ comments.
“No word that Geert Wilders and his merry band of neo-Nazis ever uttered has amounted to anything. The real danger is that seemingly moderate governments and ostensibly responsible policymakers in Europe seem to concur,” Altun tweeted on Tuesday.
Erdoğan’s spokesman, İbrahim Kalın, late Monday tweeted a photo of Wilders scrunching his face while pushing a pen against the tip of his nose, accompanied by the word “Imbecile.”
Ankara and The Hague have had tense relations, especially after Turkish ministers were banned from campaigning among Turkish nationals living in the Netherlands during Turkey’s constitutional referendum campaign in 2017.