10:52 GMT +314 October 2019
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    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters during a ceremony in Afyonkarahisar, Turkey March 15, 2017

    Erdogan Will 'Push It to the Brink' in Duel With Dutch, Upset Over Dead EU Deal

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    Turkey's President Erdogan feels that the EU has failed to deliver on its promise to fulfill a migrant deal between Ankara and Brussels, a former senior US Defense Department security policy analyst told Sputnik.

    In an interview with Sputnik, Michael Maloof, a former senior US Defense Department security policy analyst and the author of the book "A Nation Forsaken," commented on the current diplomatic showdown between Turkey and the Netherlands.

    The interview came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the Netherlands of state terrorism and having a "rotten" character.Speaking at a medical conference in Ankara on Tuesday, Erdogan went so far as to insist that the Netherlands is responsible for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre during the Bosnian War.

    The tensions between the two states emerged last Saturday, when Dutch authorities refused to allow Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who was expected to meet with Turkish expats in the Netherlands to promote election support among the local Turkish diaspora community, to leave his plane.

    Ankara reacted furiously, promising reciprocal actions and sanctions against the Netherlands, while Turkish President Erdogan labeled the Dutch authorities' behavior as "Nazism."

    Commenting on this, Michael Maloof said that while Amsterdam is currently seeking to temper down tensions "a little bit," Ankara wants "to push it to the brink."

    He recalled that the countries' political standoff comes amid fears over the future of the Turkey-EU deal which was originally proposed in March 2016 and which was aimed to stem the flow of migrants crossing into Europe via Turkey.

    "Erdogan feels that the EU hasn't live up to its end of the bargain [on migrants]," he said.

    Under the deal, the EU would pay Turkey $3.32 billion over two years to improve its refugee camps and accept the relocation of "irregular migrants" — those refused asylum in Greece — back to Turkey. In return, the EU agreed to take Syrian refugees on a one-for-one basis from Turkey and relocate them to its member states.

    Maloof warned of far-reaching consequences from the Turkey-EU deal coming to a standstill.

    "There will be another humanitarian crisis and it will bolster the populist movement inside Europe, which is basically anti-immigrant in nature," he said, referring to the year's elections in France, Germany and the Netherlands.

    He pointed to NATO's serious concerns about Turkey's row with the rest of Europe, which Maloof said "undermines the [EU's] collective security."

    He also said that as far as the United States is concerned, it is keeping a watchful eye on the situation.

    "I think they are watching carefully [on how the situation is developing].They don't want to do anything that is going to upset their NATO member at this point. Erdogan is very unpredictable and he said that he could side with Russia more than with the US. Washington already has an issue with Turkey with respect to the backing of Kurds in Syria," Maloof said.

    Meanwhile, Ankara has suspended high-level political contacts with the Netherlands and sent the country a diplomatic note, criticizing the treatment of Foreign Minister Cavusoglu. Dutch authorities, in turn, demanded an apology for being compared to Nazis.

    European Council President Donald Tusk said that the European Union supported the Netherlands in the diplomatic dispute with Turkey, which he said seems to have lost contact with reality. 

    "The Netherlands is Europe. And today I want to say that Europe is the Netherlands. [It is] a place of freedom and democracy, and for sure Rotterdam, the city of Erasmus, brutally destroyed by the Nazis, which today has a mayor born in Morocco. If anyone sees fascism in Rotterdam, they are completely detached from reality. We all show solidarity with the Netherlands," Tusk said.

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    migrants, deal, authorities, standoff, tensions, NATO, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey, Netherlands
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