Dutch MPs from across the political spectrum have welcomed the failure of the attempted coup by the army in Turkey. Despite the heavy criticism of president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, he was elected democratically and a military coup is not the right way to depose him, MPs said.
D66 parliamentarian Sjoerd Sjoerdsma said that ‘the worrying way Erdogan operates is no excuse for a military coup.’ The events of Friday night have only losers and the authoritarian power being exercised by Erdogan ‘will only increase’, he said in a statement.
Labour MP Marit Maij said that a military coup can never be an option and stressed that Erdogan’s democratic supporters were also opposed to the army’s action. The situation in Turkey, she said, is extremely worrying because Turkey is in such an unstable region.
The Christian Democratic party’s foreign affairs spokesman Raymond Knops said that despite the ‘huge volume of criticism’ about the way Erdogan is leading the country ‘we would rather see peaceful change’.
Only Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-Islam PVV, approved of the army’s action. ‘I hope Erdogans islamofascist regime is finished. The sooner the better,’ he said earlier in the evening on Twitter.
Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte said on Friday evening he is extremely concerned about the situation in Turkey following the attempted military coup. ‘We don’t yet know exactly what is going on but I am very, very worried,’ Rutte told broadcaster RTL. Rutte is currently in Mongolia for a summit.
Several hundred Dutch Turks gathered outside the Turkish consulate on Friday night, chanting and singing the Turkish national anthem. Some called on Rutte to distance himself from the coup.
According to broadcaster NOS, a group of youths attacked one of its camera crews, hitting a camera man and damaging a car. ‘There is a strong anti-western media sentiment here,’ reporter Robert Bas said.
Police were drafted in and the crowd eventually broke up and went home. Rotterdam has a large Turkish community and some 70% are said to have voted for Erdogan’s AK party in the April election.
There was a smaller demonstration in Deventer, NOS said.
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