BERLIN – The Dutch Freedom Party, the Netherlands’s third largest political
party, urged the Foreign Affairs and Defense Ministries last week to reconsider
Turkey’s continued membership in NATO.
Geert Wilders, head of the party,
and its Mideast expert, deputy Wim Kortenoeven, accused Turkey of abandoning its
allies – Israel earlier this year, and now France.
diplomatic and military ties with France last week, over the French
parliamentary resolution on the current Turkish government’s reaction to the
Ottoman Empire’s massacre of Christian Armenians in 1915. The empire preceded
the modern secular Turkish state founded in 1923, and the French deemed the
state’s denial that these events represented genocide to be punishable by a
France is a leading member of the NATO military alliance,
as is Holland.
Kortenoeven, a leading European specialist on the Mideast and author of
several books on the region, told The Jerusalem Post that since Turkey
has a short but disturbing history of abandoning allies, it could be a
lethal mistake to entrust them with the custody of a crucial element of
the new Western/European defense system against nuclear rogue states
such as Iran and Pakistan. The Dutch lawmakers asked that the slated
missile shield to be installed in Turkey be reconsidered.
The party’s military spokesman, Marcial Hernandez, also posed
questions to the ministries regarding Turkey’s reliability as a NATO
Radio Netherlands Worldwide stated that it is unlikely that
countries such as the Netherlands or Germany will follow the French example and
pass resolutions against Turkey.
Larissa van den Herik, professor of
international law at Leiden University, was cited as saying: “Both countries
have large Turkish communities. No one will be keen to offend them with a
ban. But it would be good to put a bit more pressure on Turkey. It’s always good
to take an honest look at your history.”
The Dutch Freedom Party opposes
militant Islam and has generated much controversy in Europe due to its
criticisms of political and reactionary strands of Islam in Holland and
throughout Europe. The party played a kingmaker role in the last national
election and helped establish the current coalition government.