First Published: 2017-07-07

Dutch govt opposes Turkish deputy PM visit
Government says plans by Turkes or any member of Turkish government to visit Netherlands 'undesirable'.
Middle East Online

Tugrul Turkes (R)

AMSTERDAM - The Dutch government on Friday expressed opposition to plans by Turkey's deputy Prime Minister Tugrul Turkes to visit The Netherlands to address a gathering marking last year's failed military coup.

"A visit by the Turkish deputy prime minister or any member of the Turkish government is undesirable, given the current situation regarding bilateral relations between our two countries," the cabinet said in a statement.

Dutch daily tabloid Algemeen Dagblad had on Thursday reported that Turkes planned to address a rally in the eastern city of Apeldoorn next week to mark the abortive coup of July 15.

The meeting was organised by the Union of European Turkish Democrats which is affiliated to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling AK party, the Dutch government said.

"This in principle is not about stopping the meeting... but the decision is a logical step following the incidents in March," said the statement, which also condemned the attempted coup as an "attack on Turkish democratic institutions".

Dutch-Turkish relations hit an all-time low after The Netherlands expelled a Turkish minister on March 11 when she defied a ban on attending a campaign rally among expats ahead of an April referendum which expanded Erdogan's powers.

Another minister's plane was blocked from landing.

Protests erupted in the harbour city of Rotterdam as Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya was escorted out of The Netherlands, with riot police eventually moving in to break up the demonstration, using dogs, horses and water cannon.

Relations between the two countries remain frosty with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte telling BNR public radio on Thursday he was still "incredibly angry with Turkey because of the chaos it caused in Rotterdam."

In return, Turkey suspended high-level relations with The Netherlands and blocked its ambassador -- outside the country at the time -- from returning to his post, as it demanded an apology.


Erdogan urges world to recognise Jerusalem as Palestinian capital

Gulf pours funds into West Africa anti-jihadist force

US skeptical about Putin's declaration of military victory in Syria

US-led air strikes kill 23 civilians in Syria

Saudi Arabia lifts decades-long ban on cinemas

Lebanon approves bid for oil, gas exploration

US to present 'irrefutable evidence' of Iran violations

Istanbul 'to remove Gulen links' from street names

Iraq hangs 38 jihadists

Pence to visit Middle East despite controversy

Hamas chief calls for continued Jerusalem protests

EU to repatriate 15,000 migrants from Libya in two months

Syria Kurds fear US ally will desert them after IS defeat

Israeli drugmaker Teva to cut 14,000 jobs over two years

Turkey rescues 51 migrants stranded on rocks

Saudi, UAE hold talks with Yemen Islamists

18 killed after bomber strikes Mogadishu police academy

Israeli air strikes target Hamas military facilities

Israel union calls nationwide strike over pharmaceutical giant job cuts

UN envoy urges Putin to press Assad for elections

Yemen's Huthi rebels release pro-Saleh media staff

Israel intelligence minister invites Saudi prince to visit

Saudi-led strikes kill 30 in rebel-run Yemen prison

Saudi king says Palestinians have 'right' to Jerusalem

Saudi King says determined to confront corruption

South Sudan needs $1.7 billion humanitarian aid in 2018

UAE oil giant floats 10 percent of retail arm to strong interest

Growing concern about rise of far-right in Austria

Saudi, UAE seeks to help West Africa fight terrorism

Somali journalist dies after Mogadishu bombing

Israeli sentenced to four years for arson attack on church

Erdogan risks sabotaging fragile relations with Israel

6.2-magnitude earthquake strikes Iran

Two Gazans killed by Israeli ‘strike’, Israel denies claim

French FM accuses Iran of carving out ‘axis’ of influence

Over 170 dead after South Sudan rival cattle herders clash

Russia begins partial withdrawal from Syria

Russia weary of returning IS jihadists before World Cup, election

EU accused of complicity in Libya migrant rights violations

Pentagon skeptical about Russia's Syria pullout claims

EU says Syria war ‘ongoing’ despite Russia pullout

Istanbul nightclub gunman refuses to testify

Integrating Syrians in Turkey carries implications

US opinion views Muslims and Arabs more favourably but political affiliation makes a difference

Iranian conservative protesters say Trump hastening end of Israel