Turkish FM says Turkey, Netherlands to appoint ambassadors soon

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (Abdulhamid Hosbas / Anadolu Agency)

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said relations between Turkey and the Netherlands, which soured last year due to Dutch authorities’ refusal to allow Turkish ministers to campaign in the Netherlands for a referendum in Turkey, will soon be normalized

“Met with my Dutch counterpart Stef Blok in Vienna. In line with the decision on normalization of our relations, we agreed to appoint Ambassadors as soon as possible.  Blok will also pay an official visit to Turkey in early October,” Çavuşoğlu wrote from his Twitter account on Friday.

The Turkish and Dutch foreign ministers met on the sidelines of the Gymnich Meeting between the ministers of EU member and candidate countries.

The first sign of the normalization of relations between the two countries was given during a phone call between Çavuşoğlu and Blok on July 20.

A statement issued by the Turkish Foreign Ministry at the time said: “During this telephone conversation, the ministers agreed to normalize the diplomatic relations between the Netherlands and Turkey. To that extent the ministers agreed to reinstate ambassadors in Ankara and The Hague shortly.”

A crisis erupted between Ankara and The Hague last March when the Netherlands cancelled the flight clearance for Çavuşoğlu’s airplane shortly after Çavuşoğlu 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 referendum in Turkey last April.

The crisis escalated when  then-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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