Former Golden Dawn MP, Ioannis Lagos ripped a printed copy of the Turkish flag during a session in the European Parliament on Wednesday, where he is serving as an independent MEP.
Lagos ripped the flag during a debate over the humanitarian drama unfolding in Greece with the migrant crisis, in protest over what he saw as Turkey’s complicity in and fuelling of the crisis.
Greece’s Foreign Affairs Ministry issued a statement condemning the Greek MEP’s action saying that “Neo-Nazis represent only themselves.”
“Greece categorically condemns any action that desecrates a national symbol – in this case the national symbol of Turkey.”
“The unacceptable actions of representatives of neo-Nazism deviate from Greek and European tradition and constitute attempts at self-promotion by Golden Dawn, an organisation that is under indictment and that Greek society voted out of Parliament.”
The gesture sparked outrage amongst Turkish officials, with the Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu tweeting “These racist minds know better than anybody how we crash and kick out to the sea those who dare attack our glorious flag. Europe’s spoiled and racist children should know their place. Europe must put an end to racism and animosity against Islam. Nobody should doubt that our flag will continue to wave proudly forever! Expecting European Parliament to take necessary measures against this clown.”
European Parliament President David Sassoli launched an investigation into Lagos’ action and is expected to reprimand him over his actions.