Turkey suspends high-level diplomatic ties with Netherlands

 Turkey suspends high-level diplomatic ties with Netherlands

Turkey is suspending high-level diplomatic relations with the Netherlands after Dutch authorities prevented Turkish ministers from speaking at rallies of expatriate Turks, deepening the row between the two NATO allies, the country's Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmush said.

"We are doing exactly what they did to us. We are not allowing planes carrying Dutch diplomats or envoys from landing in Turkey or using our airspace. Those creating this crisis are responsible for fixing it," Kurtulmus told a news conference.

Kurtulmus also said Ankara might re-evaluate its deal with the European Union to halt the flow of migrants from Turkish shores to Europe.

The Dutch foreign ministry issued a travel warning, urging its citizens in Turkey to take care and noting the new "diplomatic tensions". 

"Since March 11, 2017 there have been diplomatic tensions between Turkey and The Netherlands. Stay alert across the whole of Turkey and avoid gatherings," the warning says.

The President of the National Strategy Institute, Mikhail Remizov, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, drew attention to the fact that tensions in relations between Ankara and Europe have been accumulating for a long time. "Largely, it's a Europe's fault, which has put itself in a big dependence on Turkey on the issue of refugees. The current situation is a consequence of its own mistakes in migration policy and reluctance to see alternative solutions to the problem," he noted in the first place.

"The same goes for the development of the Turkish diaspora in European countries. Turkey has traditionally viewed the representatives of the diaspora as its agents of influence. Especially Erdogan, who often visited European countries, spoke to representatives of the diaspora. Naturally, it was not appreciated by a significant part of European politicians, so when Europe has started to perceive Erdogan as a non grata person after a coup attempt, some Europeans considered themselves entitled to act more openly," Mikhail Remizov pointed out.

According to the analyst, the conflict will not go beyond the diplomatic part. "Only the Netherlands is involved on the European side, and I do not think that Erdogan will seriously challenge the migration agreement because of this. It is not profitable for the EU, but in the current circumstances it is a painful topic for Europeans. But the period of cooling in the Turkish-EU relations can be quite long, as there is no reason or circumstance that can change this," the President of the National Strategy Institute said.

The head of the political research of the Center for Modern Turkish Studies, Yuri Mavashev, in turn, stressed that the conflict has unfolded against the backdrop of the struggle for the votes of European voters, who are simultaneously citizens of Turkey. "Turkey's complain about the breach of the Vienna convention should be considered seriously, since the embassy is the territory of Turkey. The ban of planes with Turkish ministers from landing, block of embassies and ban of the Turkish authorities violate not only diplomatic norms, but also political good-neighborliness. Not to mention that officers used dogs to disperse the Turkish citizens in Rotterdam," he pointed out.

"From a political point of view, the issue had gone beyond the purely Dutch-Turkish bilateral relations. Other EU member states have already voiced their fear, bewilderment or solidarity with the Netherlands - Germany, Austria, to some extent Sweden. I think that it is no longer possible to settle the conflict. And it will have the most negative impact on security in the EU countries, since the Turks are the most disciplined migrants in Europe," Yury Mavashev recalled.

The expert noted that this means that other migrants can perceive the political conflict between the EU and Turkey as an attack on Muslim society as a whole. "In addition, the Turkish Minister for Family Affairs was detained when she was wearing the hijab, which could lead to destabilization of Europe and Turkey's refusal from European integration," the head of the political research of the Center for Modern Turkish Studies warned.