Turkey Halts High-Level Discussions with Netherlands

Netherlands

A street vendor sells flags during a protest in front of the Dutch Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey

Ankara – High-level discussions between the Netherlands and Turkey have been halted and air space to Dutch diplomats was closed, revealed a prominent Turkish minister, as part of the ongoing diplomatic row between the two NATO members.

The US has called on the Netherlands and Turkey to resolve their dispute. A US diplomat said that the Trump administration refrained from meddling between Ankara and Amsterdam because they are strong democracies and can settle their issues.

“People should be able to protest in a peaceful way. Taking this into consideration, both countries must avoid the war of words,” added the diplomat.

Yet, the Turkish escalation occurred despite the calls of the NATO and EU to end the crisis.

Turkey’s EU Minister Omer Celik said the country will “surely have sanctions” against the Netherlands without going into further details. Celik called on the EU to confront Amsterdam’s violations in preventing activities of Turkish ministers regarding the referendum on amending the constitution that is scheduled for April.

He stated that the EU has become a victim of extremism due to the economic crisis, adding that “the extremist Geert Wilders is trying to expel Muslims from the Netherlands and his speech brings fascism to the mind.”

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus declared that the Netherlands will have to apologize to Turkey for its “shameful” practices with two Turkish minsters. He also expressed sorrow and concern over Europe’s “unpromising future due to the growth of extremist right, fascism and Nazism during the past years.”

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte affirmed that his country will not carry out negotiations under a threat, hinting at the threats by Turkish officials to impose sanctions on the Netherlands. Rutte added that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan describing Dutch people as Nazis and fascists is “unacceptable”.

The Dutch government barred Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu from flying to Rotterdam on Saturday and later stopped Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya from entering the Turkish consulate there, before escorting her back to Germany.

The Netherlands warned on Monday its citizens in Turkey and urged them to avoid groupings and crowded places. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs considered that there is a danger in travelling to Turkey since terrorist attacks are likely to happen.

(Source / 14.03.2017)

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