Dutch cabinet says Turkey’s deputy PM not welcome to visit

(MEE) – The Dutch cabinet said on Friday Turkey’s deputy prime minister Tugrul Turkes was not welcome to visit the Netherlands for a ceremony among Turkish expatriates to commemorate the anniversary of last year’s failed military coup in Turkey.

Relations between the NATO allies deteriorated sharply in March when the Dutch, on the eve of their national election, barred Turkish ministers from speaking at rallies of ethnic Turks in the Netherlands, citing security concerns.

President Tayyip Erdogan, who wanted to encourage Turks living in Europe to back his plans in a referendum for increased powers, accused the Netherlands of acting like a “banana republic” and his foreign minister described the country as the “capital of fascism”.

“In view of the current condition of the bilateral relationship… the cabinet finds a visit by the Turkish deputy prime minister or any other member of the Turkish government undesirable,” the Dutch cabinet said in a statement.

Turkey has said it plans to stage commemoration events in several European cities that have a large ethnic Turkish diaspora, and the foreign ministry in Ankara criticised the Dutch stance.

“The statement… is telling in terms of this country’s understanding of democracy”, Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Huseyin Muftuoglu said.

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