Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders has said the diplomatic crisis between Turkey and the Netherlands has nothing to do with the Dutch elections.
Interviewing to BBC Türkçe, Koenders said, “I really don’t understand they threaten us with imposing sanctions. We had no other choice regarding the measures we have taken so far but the most important point is that we hope that the tension de-escalate at some point”.
“We’ve tried to find a solution”
Responding to the question that whether this tension has been escalated because of the Dutch elections, Koenders said, “No, it is not about the elections. Of course we are in an election period but it doesn’t come to mean that this happened because of the elections. We have a dispute because of Turkish government’s officials’ election demands from the Netherlands”.
“While we were trying to find a solution, we received a sanction threat like Çavuşoğlu willing to organize a meeting at the consulate building or some other building belonging to the Turkish government. That is why we revoked landing rights, then another minister came without having our permission. This was too risky”.
Koenders responded to Erdoğan’s statements
In a speech held in Turkey’s capital Ankara yesterday (March 14), President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said “We know how ignoble people they are from their massacre of 8,000 Bosnians. We know these very well”.
Touching on this statement, Koender stated, “By looking at the tone that Erdoğan uses especially against Germany and the Netherlands, we’ve seen that the tension escalated through his tone. Of course what is said about us with respect to Nazism and Srebrenica are utterly wrong and unacceptable”.
The campaign meeting of Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on March 11 in Rotterdam for the referendum on the Constitutional Amendment Draft on April 16 was cancelled.
Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Abutalip had announced that the decision to cancel the meeting was taken by the owner of the hall Park de Heerlijkheid where the meeting was to take place due to lack of fire security measures. Mayor Abutalip noted however "If the owner of the hall had not, I would have cancelled the meeting myself for public order and security reasons".
Çavuşoğlu in a TV program in CNN Türk called the Dutch "Nazis" following the remarks about Germany and if the Netherlands would revoke his landing rights, this would cause sanctions.
On March 11, the Netherlands revoked Minister Çavuşoğlu's landing rights.
Netherland's Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders said that Çavuşoğlu's call to the people from Turkey in the Netherlands for an assembly threatened "the public order and security".
While the revocation of Çavuşoğlu's landing rights sparked protests in Turkey and the Netherlands, Minister of Family and Social Policies Fatma Betül Sayan-Kaya who wanted to enter the Consulate of Turkey in Rotterdam where the protests were being staged was blocked and deported to Germany with police escort.
Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte said that he wished the tension to de-escelate but they would not apologize.
On March 13, Turkey sent two diplomatic notes to the Netherlands.
Vice PM Yıldırım stated that high-level diplomatic ties, scheduled meetings and high-level official talks with the Netherland have been suspended. (NV/TK)
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