Dutch PM to Turkey: Sanctions talk ‘bizarre,’ Netherlands has more reasons to be ‘very angry’
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has called Ankara’s sanctions against the Dutch government “bizarre” and said that the Netherlands has more reasons to be very angry with Turkey.
“I continue to find it bizarre that in Turkey they’re talking about sanctions when you see that we have reasons to be very angry about what happened this weekend,” Rutte told RTL Late Night on Monday.
He noted that Ankara’s move to freeze diplomatic contacts with the Netherlands was “not too bad” but inappropriate.
Over the weekend the Dutch government denied a landing permit to Turkey’s foreign minister, who was due to deliver a speech — in support of April’s referendum to expand presidential powers in Turkey — to Turks living in the Netherlands. Later, another Turkish minister was prevented from not only giving a speech, but also entering the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam, where she was to address a crowd of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s supporters.
In response, Turkey severed diplomatic ties with the Netherlands, banning the Dutch ambassador from entering Turkey, halting diplomatic flights and suspending high-level government meetings. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said the sanctions would apply until the Netherlands takes steps “to redress” the actions that Ankara views as a grave insult. Angered by the treatment of Turkish officials, President Erdogan over the weekend also compared the actions of the Netherlands and Germany – which also recently prevented Turkish ministers from addressing rallies – to those of Nazis. On Monday, Erdogan said Turkey will challenge the Netherlands in the European Court of Human Rights.
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