ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The Dutch Foreign Ministry has recalled its ambassador to Turkey after the diplomat was barred from entering the country for almost a year now following a dispute that began in March 2017.
After Turkey and the Netherlands failed to reach an agreement on ways to normalize their relations anew, the European nation said it would withdraw its ambassador.
Tensions arose in spring 2017 when the Dutch government blocked visas for Turkish officials who were campaigning in the Netherlands in favor of Turkey’s constitutional referendum which aimed at giving President Recep Tayyip Erdogan broader powers.
The referendum was held the same month as the Dutch national elections.
Ankara responded by banning the Dutch ambassador from physically entering the country, which the Foreign Ministry says has stalled talks with Turkey.
The Netherlands added it would not accept the appointment of a new Turkish ambassador, with the ministry claiming to have “paused talks” on the matter.
Earlier reports suggested the Netherlands and Turkey had severed high-level diplomatic ties, but Turkish government spokesperson Bekir Bozdag said the withdrawal of the Dutch ambassador did not mean an end to political relations between the two nations.
“This does not mean that diplomatic ties between Turkey and the Netherlands are cut off,” Bozdag told reporters following a cabinet meeting. “There are charges d’affaires carrying out the relations between the two countries.”
Turkey has a large diaspora across Europe and officials campaigning in the foreign nations drew protests between those opposed to Erdogan and those supporting the Turkish President who is currently leading an offensive on the Kurdish canton of Afrin in northwestern Syria.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany