Turkish President calls Wilders Islamophobe
Turkish President Abdullah Gül has called Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders an islamophobe. In an interview with Dutch mass-circulation daily De Telegraaf, President Gül said Mr Wilders represents an extreme voice, which feeds radicals.”
He continued, saying because of Wilders “a negative us-against-them climate is developing in the whole of Europe, which is laying the foundation for ethnic religious discrimination.” Nevertheless, the president said he would shake the hand of the leader of the anti-Islam party if he met him.
President Gül is in the Netherlands on a three-day trip in the coming week to mark 400 years of relations between Turkey and the Netherlands at the invitation of the Dutch government.
A number of months ago, Mr Wilders said President Gül was not welcome in the Netherlands as far as he was concerned. In 2010, Turkey decided not to receive a parliamentary delegation which included Wilders. At the time, a Turkish spokesperson said that Wilders was “such a fascist that besides in Turkey, he would not be welcome in other European capitals.”
In response, Geert Wilders has indicated that President Gül’s comments do not bother him. “Turkish humour: Christian-teaser, Kurd-basher, Hamas-friend and Islamist Gül complaining about tolerance.”
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