Thursday, 14 April 2011

Turkish Government Tries to Suppress Free Speech in Europe

The Flemish nationalist party Vlaams Belang, together with the Austrian FPÖ, the Sweden Democrats and the Italian Lega Nord, recently held a conference called "Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, Italy - a firm immigration policy works!". Among other things, the possibility of holding a Europe-wide referendum on Turkish accession to the European Union was discussed.

At the conference the poster shown above was released. It shows a "black sheep" bearing the colours of Turkey and Morocco being ejected from Europe. This is one of the many variants of a poster first used by the Swiss People's Party when Switzerland held a referendum on deporting foreigners who had committed crimes.

The Turkish ambassador to Belgium has issued a formal protest to the Belgian government and has called for the poster to be banned, claiming it is racist and xenophobic.

Filip Dewinter, one of the leaders of Vlaams Belang, has demanded that the Turkish ambassador be reprimanded, saying "We have no lessons to learn from the fundamentalist Turkish government...Clearly, the Turks have a problem with liberty of expression, which forms an indissoluble part of our democracy."


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