ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Ankara has recalled a consulate security guard after he beat and used pepper spray on a Kurdish man from Turkey earlier this year following an argument, Dutch media reported.
Erdal Akbaba, a 35-year-old businessman living in The Hague, went to the Turkish Consulate in the city of Rotterdam in May with his family to register his new-born daughter, but the registration could not be completed due to a technical problem.
After coming back to the consulate a second time, according to Dutch news outlet NOS, he ended up in an argument with Turkish consulate staff at which point four security guards began beating him and using pepper spray.
Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb later said that the Turkish security guard who used the pepper spray had no Dutch license to carry it and would therefore be guilty of the crime of illegal weapon possession.
Investigators from the Dutch Public Prosecution Service (OM) learned the security guard had diplomatic immunity, so handed the case over the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to a ministry spokesperson, the issue was solved after Ankara agreed to withdraw the guard and send him back to Turkey.
In March 2017, tensions rose between the Netherlands and its southern NATO ally after Dutch authorities canceled the flight permit of a plane carrying Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in the runup to a 2017 referendum on constitutional amendments to expand Turkish presidential powers.
This happened less than a month after Mayor Aboutaleb expelled former Turkish Family and Social Affairs Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya from Rotterdam.
As a result, Turkey barred the Dutch ambassador to Turkey for one year, after which Holland in February formally withdrew its ambassador, Hurriyet reported.
Turkey and the Netherlands have agreed to normalize relations, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in July.
On Aug. 31, the two countries decided to reinstate ambassadors after Çavuşoğlu met with his Dutch counterpart, Stef Blok.
Editing by John J. Catherine