Rasmussen says Turkish PM’s referendum rally in Denmark postponed

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Picture taken on December 10, 2016 shows Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim (R) speaking with his Danish counterpart Lars Lokke Rasmussen after a press conference following their meeting at the Cankaya Palace in Ankara. Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke on March 12, 2017 called on his Turkish counterpart Binali Yilirim to delay a planned March visit because of "tensions" between Ankara and the Netherlands. / AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN

Danish Primer Lars Locke Rasmussen on Sunday said he had proposed to his counterpart, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, that he delay a planned visit to Denmark amid rising tensions with Germany and the Netherlands due to the cancellation of Turkish ministers’ campaign rallies in those countries.

In a press release on Sunday, Rasmussen said the decision was made in light of the escalating tensions between Turkey on the one hand and Germany and the Netherlands on the other.

Underlining that he had a “frank and constructive dialogue” with his counterpart during his visit to Ankara on Dec. 10, 2016, Rasmussen said “Under normal circumstances, it would be a pleasure to welcome Turkish Prime Minister Yıldırım.”

“However, with the current Turkish attack on Holland, the meeting cannot be seen as separated from that. I have therefore suggested to my Turkish colleague that our meeting be postponed,” he added.

The Turkish minister of family and social policy was expelled from the Netherlands on Saturday night when she entered the country after the Dutch government decided to cancel the flight clearance for the Turkish foreign minister’s aircraft earlier in the day.

Before the Netherlands’ decision, last week, local German authorities also canceled meetings by several Turkish ministers in order to seek the support of Turkish expatriates for a referendum on April 16 that will expand the power of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and switch Turkey to an executive presidency.

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