Turkish deputy PM banned from anti-coup event in the Netherlands

The Dutch cabinet says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Tugrul Turkes is not welcome to visit the Netherlands for an event among Turkish expatriates to commemorate the anniversary of the deadly July 15 coup attempt in Turkey.

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Tugrul Turkes during a meeting with EU leaders in this undated photo.

The Dutch cabinet announced 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 attempt 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.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan 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.

"This decision is logical in view of the events in March," it added.

At least 240 people were killed and 2,200 others were injured when a section of Turkey's military, that Ankara says had received instructions from the Fethullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO), attempted to overthrow the democratically elected government .

Turkey accuses Fethullah Gulen, who lives in self-imposed exile in the United States, of being behind the coup and has been pressing the US to extradite him.

Ankara has said it plans commemoration events in several European cities that have a large ethnic Turkish diaspora. 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.

Turkey has accused European governments of being slow and insufficiently vigorous in their condemnation of the coup attempt.

Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies