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    ‘Nazism is alive in the West’



    People protest outside the Dutch consulate in Istanbul after the Netherlands barred Turkish ministers from visiting.
    Video provided by AFP

    ISTANBUL, Turkey — Europe has been stripped of its mask and its real face is one of “fascism, racism and Islamophobia,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday.

    Erdogan, speaking at a rally in support of constitutional changes that would tighten his grip on power, expressed anger at recent bans on speeches planned by Turkish ministers in Germany and the Netherlands. The ministers have been pressing Erdogan’s case to Turkish expats in Europe ahead of a crucial April 16 referendum on the changes, and increasing pushback from European leaders have caused tensions to rise.

    “The West has thrown off its mask in the past days,” Erdogan said Sunday. “What we have seen is a clear manifestation of Islamophobia. I have said that I had thought Nazism was over, but that I was wrong. Nazism is alive in the West.”

    On Saturday, the Dutch government canceled Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s flight permit to the Netherlands, then refused to allow a convoy carrying Turkish Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya to enter the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam, instead ushering her to the German border.

    “Democracy, fundamental rights, human rights and freedoms… All forgotten in Rotterdam tonight. Merely tyranny and oppression.” she tweeted.

    Several dozen people, some waving red Turkish…

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