Dutch gov’t says Turkish Deputy PM unwelcome in the Netherlands

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Turkish Deputy Prime Ministers Tuğrul Türkes (Emrah Yorulmaz / Anadolu Agency)

A statement issued by the Dutch foreign ministry on Friday said the visit of Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Tuğrul Türkeş or another Turkish minister to commemorate the anniversary of a failed coup attempt in Turkey last July would not be welcomed by the Netherlands.

“The coup attempt was an unjustified attack on the Turkish state, but given the current circumstances in the bilateral relations between the two countries, we would not welcome the arrival of Deputy Prime Minister Tuğrul Türkes or another minister,” the Dutch Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Türkeş was scheduled to attend an event on Tuesday marking the anniversary of the coup attempt organized by the Union of European Turkish Democrats (UETD) in the city of Apeldoorn.

Spokesperson for Turkey’s Foreign Affairs Ministry Hüseyin Müftüoğlu, who criticized the decision of the Netherlands, said it was noteworthy in that it showed the sense democracy in the country.

Turkey’s relations with the Netherlands were strained after Dutch authorities refused to allow Turkish ministers and government officials to campaign there for an April 16 constitutional referendum in Turkey short before the Dutch national elections in March.

A crisis erupted between Turkey and the Netherlands when the latter canceled the flight clearance for Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu’s airplane on March 11 shortly after Çavuşoğlu warned that Turkey would impose “harsh sanctions” on Holland if it were to take such a step.

The crisis reached new heights when Turkish Minister of Family and Social Policy Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya was expelled from the Netherlands on the night of March 11 after she insisted on going to the residence of the Turkish Consulate General in Rotterdam to hold a rally.

Following the incidents, the Turkish government announced a series of political sanctions against the Netherlands, including halting high-level political discussions between the two countries, closing Turkish airspace to Dutch diplomats, barring the Dutch ambassador’s reentry to Turkey and advising Parliament to withdraw from the Dutch-Turkish friendship group.

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