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Erdogan's new explosion against the West - They are closing consulates in Turkey

Featured Erdogan's new explosion against the West - They are closing consulates in Turkey

New bellicose outburst by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan against the West, in a speech addressed to his parliamentary group, saying that Western countries are overlooking Turkish achievements in the fields of energy, defense industry, and new technology.

"We are completing the nuclear plant in Akkuyu, we have modernized the defense industry, large public and private sector investments, and the West is worried about strengthening our country," the Turkish president told a meeting of AKP parliamentarians before unleashing an all-out attack on the opposition parties for their declaration, in which they promise to abolish the superpowers of the Presidency and bring Turkey back into the orbit of the West.

Meanwhile, the Ankara General Prosecutor's Office announced a criminal investigation into Paludan, head of Denmark's Stram Course (Strong Line) party, who had burned the Koran in front of the entrance to the Turkish embassy in Stockholm on January 21. The same for the Dutch far-right politician Wagensveld who imitated him the next day in The Hague.

The Swedish-Danish far-right Rasmus Paludan, after the first provocation, on January 27, at the end of Friday prayers again burned the Koran in front of the Copenhagen mosque and challenged the Muslims to stop the prayer.

A criminal investigation was also announced against Dutch politician Edwin Wagensveld, leader of the far-right PEGIDA party, after he too burned and then trampled on the Koran in front of the Dutch Parliament on January 22. According to the Prosecutor's Office, "those in question have committed acts of public incitement to hatred and enmity against the sacred values of the Islamic religion, the Koran and the Prophet of Islam, Prophet Muhammad, and public insult to the religious values embraced by a section of the people."

The announcement notes that the Ankara General Prosecutor's Office's ex officio investigation against the suspects is based on the relevant articles of the Turkish Penal Code under the charge of "public incitement of the public to hatred and enmity" and "public insult to religious values" in order to investigate the truth of the alleged incidents.

EU countries are closing their consulates

Meanwhile, Germany has announced that it is closing its consulate in Istanbul. The German Foreign Ministry said that "the decision to close the consulate was made after an assessment by the security authorities" and called on German citizens to be especially careful and avoid places where there is a large crowd.

Germany, Sweden, Norway and Denmark, as well as the US, had already warned their citizens last week of an increased risk of attack in Turkey. The US on Monday updated its warning to specifically mention Istanbul. Turkey, for its part, has warned its citizens of attacks in Europe and the United States.

Freezing of talks from Ankara

Ankara's talks with Stockholm on Sweden's NATO membership have frozen, before Paludan's provocative action. Previous protests by Kurds living in Sweden, and in particular the hanging of an effigy of Erdogan from a lamppost, were the first occasion for Ankara's protests against the Swedish government. At the same time, the Turkish government had repeated its demand for the immediate extradition of Kurds and Turks who, according to the Turkish authorities, are involved in terrorism cases. The Turkish government leaves open the possibility of sanctioning Finland's accession.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu reiterated yesterday from Budapest that Ankara will not under the current circumstances sanction Sweden's accession to NATO. For his part, presidential adviser Ibrahim Kalin called on the US to disassociate Sweden's case from the F-16s, saying otherwise Turkey would turn to other countries for the purchase of fighter jets.

Message from Senator Van Hollen

US Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., slammed Turkey as an "unfaithful ally" on Tuesday and called on the Senate to consider efforts to block F-16 sales to the country.. The Democratic senator from Maryland argued that the majority of the Senate embraces that view. 

Van Hollen said that Turkey has been an “important partner” for NATO in the past, but he criticized the Turkish government on a variety of current issues, including threats to invade northern Syria. The senator said the United States and the European Union should consider sanctioning Turkey if President Recep Tayyip Erdogan thwarts Sweden's candidacy for membership in NATO.

“We need to be working in more coordination with our EU partners and considering, potentially, different kinds of sanctions if Erdogan continues to block the entry (into NATO) of Finland and Sweden,” said Van Hollen.

Van Hollen acknowledged that the process offers the president the ability to override a potential congressional veto. However, he estimated that with the current situation the White House is not going to send the official request for the F-16s to the American lawmakers.