A political party founded to serve the interests of immigrants in the Netherlands which has been accused of acting as apologists for the Turkish government has won seats for the first time, a major breakthrough that may set precedents for other such movements across Europe.
While news coverage of the Dutch elections has largely focussed in the wake of the vote on the relative successes of Party for Freedom leader and anti-Islamification campaigner Geert Wilders and conservative Prime Minister Mark Rutte, a number of other smaller parties enjoyed record gains on Thursday morning.
Among them are ‘Denk’, the notably pro-Turkish interest movement that became a legally recognised party last year and has now won three seats in the Dutch parliament.
Founded by two Turkish-origin Labour party members who broke away to found their own movement and to campaign for migrant rights and interests in the Netherlands, Denk — Dutch word for ‘Think’ and Turkish for ‘Equality’ — is now Europe’s first electorally successful migrant party.
Despite the party’s new-found prominence, this is not the first time they have found themselves in the public eye. As reported by Breitbart London in 2016, when the party was hoping to target the large Turkish migrant community in the Netherlands to win five seats, the party campaigned to launch a racism register to catalogue Dutch citizens who fail to show sufficient respect to immigrants.
Based on a sex offenders register, the list would provide a public record of individuals and prevent them from seeking employment in certain sectors. Similar plans have recently been mooted in the United Kingdom.
Those found guilty would be sent to mandatory re-education classes to instruct them on equality. Enforcing these laws, according to the Denk vision for a new Netherlands, would be a 1,000-officer strong “racism police” to combat the problem they perceive of too few people being convicted of hate crimes a year.
Alongside this politically correct squad of enforcement officers would be to ban words such as “native” and “immigrant”, the institution of an annual “diversity” holiday, the creation of a government body to monitor “mutual acceptance”, and the renaming of streets and buildings to erase the Netherlands’ colonial history.
Political and social positions taken by the party’s two senior members, Tunahan Kuzu and Selçuk Öztürk, has attracted comment and led to accusations the party is a front for Turkish interests in the Netherlands. In a spat between political factions, anti-Islamification leader Geert Wilders called the pair “a piece of regurgitated halal meat”, after they compared Mr Wilders to Adolf Hitler and, cancer.
The success of the openly pro-Turkey party in the Netherlands may serve as an inspiration to other such movements across Europe. Breitbart London reported in January on an analogous party in Austria which, consisting predominantly of individuals of Turkish origin, branded itself the “New Movement for the Future”.
Noted for its strong support of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkish migrant and party leader Adnan Dincer, when asked for the new party’s position on Islam, said: “Religion is religion, politics is politics.”