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Netherlands disallows visit of Turkish mayor

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On the first anniversary of a diplomatic crisis between Turkey and the Netherlands, The Hague has disallowed the planned visit of a ruling party mayor, BBC reported on Friday.

According to the report a visit to the city of Deventer on March 11 by Fatma Şahin, the mayor of Gaziantep, was cancelled by the Turkish side over a warning from Dutch authorities.

Şahin was expected to meet with Turkish women at the Central Mosque in Deventer in the eastern Netherlands.

The Dutch Foreign Ministry announced on Feb. 5 that it had formally withdrawn its ambassador to Turkey, who has been physically barred from re-entering the country for almost a year, over a dispute that began in March 2017.

The Netherlands will also not agree to the appointment of a new Turkish ambassador to the Netherlands.

In a statement the ministry said it has “paused” talks with Turkey on resolving the matter.

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

Çavuşoğlu was scheduled to fly to Rotterdam for a campaign rally for a public referendum last April.

The crisis escalated when Turkish Minister of Family and Social Policy Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya was expelled from the Netherlands after she insisted on going to the residence of the Turkish consul general in Rotterdam.

Back then, the Turkish government announced a series of political sanctions against the Netherlands, including halting high-level political discussions between the two countries and closing Turkish airspace to Dutch diplomats. Other sanctions barred the Dutch ambassador’s entry back into Turkey, and a Dutch-Turkish friendship group in the Turkish Parliament was dissolved.

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