President Erdogan's falling out with the Dutch Government suits everyone politically

In politics, timing is everything. Take for instance the current diplomatic row between Turkey and the Netherlands. In many other circumstances, a speech by a foreign official to a minority group encouraging engagement back in their “home” country might have passed without fuss. But in a situation where both nations have upcoming public votes in which national identity and strong leadership are key debating points, it pays to look tough.

The specific cause of the disagreement is Turkey’s upcoming referendum in which President Erdogan is seeking to expand his executive powers. The package of measures to be voted on include

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