TURKEY

Turkish Twitter Is Happily Mocking The ‘Dutch Donald Trump’

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte had lost the friendship of Ankara after a diplomatic row

TURKEY
Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders — REUTERS
Mar 16, 2017 at 1:03 PM ET

Geert Wilders, the anti-immigrant politician often called the “Dutch Donald Trump,” lost in Wednesday’s elections — and Turkish social media users are gloating.

The vote came during an intensifying diplomatic row between the EU and Turkey. Last weekend, the Dutch government prevented Turkey’s foreign minister from attending a political rally in the Netherlands ahead of an April referendum that aims to expand the Turkish president’s authorities. President Erdogan reacted with fury, accusing Holland of racism and anti-Muslim bias.

Wilders — who is famously anti-Islam — tried to capitalize on the spat, branding pro-Turkey protesters in the Netherlands as “scum” and calling the Turkish president a “dictator.”

Then Wilders was defeated. Turkish social media lit up with taunts. One user called Erdogan a “fascist loser.” “You will regret messing up with Islam,” wrote another.

Many used the opportunity to show support for Erdogan and to encourage Turks to support him in the upcoming referendum. On April 12, Turkey votes on a series of constitutional amendments that would vastly enhance Erdogan’s powers and could give him 12 more years in office.

The feud between the Turkish leader and the re-elected Dutch Prime Minster, Mark Rutte, continues. Turkey cut off high-level diplomatic ties with Holland, and in a symbolic show of anger, even sent a couple dozen cows back to the Netherlands.

Early results showed that Dutch voters, a record 81 percent of whom came out to cast their ballot, delivered the victory to Rutte’s center-right People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), awarding him 33 out of the 150 parliamentary seats. Wilders’ Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) won only 20 seats, a letdown after he briefly appeared capable of winning outright.