Dutch political leader Geert Wilders prosecuted by Turkey for “insulting Erdogan”

The Dutch PM Mark Rutte has commented the Turkish legal actions against Wilders saying the politician is exercising his right to freedom of speech

The Ankara prosecutor announced on Tuesday that he has launched an investigation against Dutch right-wing leader Geert Wilders for “insulting” the Turkish president by saying that Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a “terrorist”.

The investigation concerns two tweets that “contain written and visual insults” against the Turkish President, according to the Turkish prosecutor’s office.

“Erdogan is an Islamist who poses a deadly threat and incites hatred and terrorism here in the Netherlands”, Wilders wrote on Twitter on Monday. He also published a cartoon depicting half of Erdogan on a Turkish flag and the other half on the flag of the Islamic State organization, accompanied by the word “terrorist”.

He called on Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to expel the Turkish ambassador from the Netherlands and called for Turkey to be expelled from NATO.

“No words uttered by Geert Wilders and his neo-Nazi gang are worth the slightest thing. The real danger is that the seemingly moderate governments and the so-called responsible political leaders will share their ideas”, the communication director of the Turkish presidency Fahrettin Altun stated. 

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Erdogan’s spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, posted on Twitter a photo of Wilders pressing the tip of his nose with a pen, accompanied by the word “stupid”.

“This fascist who attacked our president would have been a cursed Nazi if he had lived during World War II. If he was living in the Middle East now, he would be a killer of Daesh”, Omer Celik, a spokesman for Erdogan’s AKP party wrote on Twitter.

The leader of the Dutch right-wing politician had angered Ankara also in October with a similar message aimed at the Turkish President. He then posted on Twitter a cartoon of Erdogan with a bomb on his head and the word “terrorist”. Erdogan had then filed again a “defamation” lawsuit against Wilders. The Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has commented the Turkish legal actions against Wilders, saying the politician is exercising his right to freedom of speech.