EU calls on Turkey to refrain from ‘excessive statements’ in row with Netherlands

European Union's Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn speaks to the media during a joint press conference with EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini, Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Turkey's EU Minister Omer Celik following the Turkey - EU High Level Political Dialogue Meeting on September 9, 2016 at Ankara Palace in Ankara. Turkey and the European Union on September 9, 2016 agreed to douse tensions that had darkened Ankara's prospects for joining the bloc in the wake of the failed July 15 coup.EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn -- making the highest-level EU visit to Turkey since the coup -- said that new chapters in Ankara's long-running accession process should be opened and visa liberalisation was still on the table. / AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN

The European Union has called on Turkey to avoid making “excessive statements” after a diplomatic crisis erupted between Turkey and the Netherlands due to the latter’s refusal to allow two Turkish ministers to hold rallies for a public referendum to be held in Turkey in April.

“The EU calls on Turkey to refrain from excessive statements and actions that risk further exacerbating the situation. Matters of concern can only be resolved through open and direct communication channels,” wrote Johannes Hahn, commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, from his Twitter account on Monday.

Turkey is an EU candidate.

A crisis erupted between Turkey and the Netherlands when The Hague cancelled the flight clearance for Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu’s airplane on Saturday shortly after Çavuşoğlu warned that Turkey would impose “harsh sanctions” on Holland if it were to take such a step.

Çavuşoğlu was scheduled to fly to Rotterdam for a campaign rally.

The crisis reached new heights when Turkish Minister of Family and Social Policy Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya was expelled from the Netherlands on Saturday night after she insisted on going to the residence of the Turkish Consulate General in Rotterdam to make a campaign speech.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan denounced the Netherlands as “Nazi remnants and fascists” after the Dutch government withdrew permission for Çavuşoğlu’s plane to land on Saturday.

Turkey has issued two diplomatic notes to the Netherlands and also demanded a written apology since the crisis erupted, while Turkish government officials are talking about imposing sanctions on the country.

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