Erdoğan uses emerging European political parties for influence - analyst

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan vying for influence via supporting political parties in Europe has gone mostly unnoticed, but soon “it will be too late”, journalist Giulio Meotti wrote for Israel National News on Saturday.

Erdoğan, accompanied by his foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, met with Mustafa Karadayı, the chairman of Bulgaria’s Rights and Freedoms Movement (MRF), on June 5, the Communications Directorate announced in a statement. The MRF is an important party in Bulgaria, Meotti said, which has won 20 percent of the Bulgarian vote in European elections and 10 percent in the national ones.

Nyans, a new party established in 2019 in Sweden is suspected of links to known Islamists in the country and its founder, Turkish-Swedish politician Mikail Yüksel, is accused of connections with the Grey Wolves, Meotti added. The party wishes to criminalise Islamophobia.

Grey Wolves is the youth movement of Erdoğan’s ally in parliament, the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), and has been accused of involvement in various political murders of left-wing intellectuals and activists during the 1970s and 80s. Several European countries have moved to include the group in terror lists.

While Nyans will run in Sweden’s 2022 elections for the first time, the Netherlands’ openly pro-Erdoğan Denk party already won three seats in parliament in the elections held in March, Meotti said.

The party was created in Rotterdam, where Muslims make up 20 percent of the electorate, and openly propagates Erdoğan’s ideas, Dutch journalist Kleis Jager told France’s Le Figaro in 2019. Denk is interested “almost exclusively in issues related to the Turkish community and intervenes very little outside these issues”, Meotti said.

Erdoğan-linked politicians have been nominated from the newly established Union of Muslim Democrats of France (UDMF), to run in regional elections in late June, the journalist added. The party has also put up pro-Erdoğan candidates for Eurpean elections, and its slogan is “All united against Islamophobia”.

“Europe these days was busy talking with Erdogan at NATO’s summit,” Meotti concluded. “It must awaken instead and fight this Turkish attempt to infiltrate by way of its democracies.”