Turkey Hints Brussels Shooting May Be Linked to EU Far-right Rise

Turkey condemns Jewish Museum shooting which left 3 dead, says its concerns 'are growing' in face of European Parliament election results.

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A boy stands in front of an Israeli flag and flowers laid in front of the Jewish Museum in Brussels on May 26, 2014.
A boy stands in front of an Israeli flag and flowers laid in front of the Jewish Museum in Brussels on May 26, 2014. Credit: AFP

Turkey condemned Saturday's attack on the Jewish Museum in Brussels, hinting the deadly shooting possibly emanated from the same reasons behind the success of the far-right in the recent European parliamentary election, the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported.

On Saturday, an unknown assailant shot and killed three people, including an Israeli couple, in a shooting at Brussels' Jewish Museum. A fourth person, a Belgian employee of the museum, is in critical condition.

In a statement released late on Wednesday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry expressed its condolences to the victims' families and said that if indeed the attack was motivated by racism, then "our concerns in the face of the fatal picture that has emerged in the European parliamentary elections will further increase.”

In Sunday's European parliamentary election far-right and Euroskeptic parties made sweeping gains, with some neo-Nazi parties entering parliament for the first time. However, the far-right still forms the smallest bloc in the parliament.

In its statement, Ankara also said it will continue to support efforts against religious intolerance and xenophobia.

Counterterrorism experts said the Brussels shooter’s apparent calm, quick getaway and selection of target – the museum is one of the few Jewish institutions in Brussels that is not under permanent police protection – suggest meticulous preparations and perhaps some training.

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