Netherlands, Wilders shares caricature on Erdoğan

Erdoğan sues Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders

Wilders, leader of the anti-immigration and anti-Islam PVV party, is known for his anti-Turkey and anti-Muslim comments.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has filed a criminal lawsuit against the far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders, following a series of messages posted on social media by the controversial leader of the Freedom Party (PVV), Turkish media reported today.

“Fascism is not our belief, it is yours. Social justice is our belief,” Erdoğan said during a speech delivered Sunday at a meeting of his AKP party in eastern Turkey, calling Wilders a “fascist“. Through his Twitter account, he would have shared a cartoon of the Turkish president himself, who appeared wearing a turban shaped like a bomb and with the AKP symbol, under the title “terrorist.”

Wilders, who regularly posts messages on social media against Turkey – the Netherlands has a significant Turkish minority from immigration during the 20th century – or against Muslims, has also criticised Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte for not defending him. “Rutte defends Macron but he is silent about me. He is not the prime minister of all the Dutch,” he wrote.

Throughout his controversial political career, both Wilders and his anti-immigration and anti-Islam party PVV have used rhetoric with strong racist content to appeal to the more xenophobic sentiments of the population. In 2019, the far-right Dutch politician organised a provocative Mohammed cartoon contest that he finally had to suspend after protests in several Muslim countries, and after receiving death threats from extremist groups.