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Azerbaijan Weighs in on Turkey-Netherlands Political Brawl

By Mushvig Mehdiyev March 13, 2017


Azerbaijan Foreign Ministry / Murad Orujov / Sputnik

Azerbaijan described recent moves by the Netherlands, including barring the Turkish foreign minister from entering the country, as “beyond diplomatic ethics.” The Foreign Ministry said steps taken by Dutch authorities related to Turkish diplomats are paradoxical with regards to human rights and democracy.

In an interview with local Trend news outlet on March 12 Foreign Ministry spokesman Hikmat Hajiyev described Dutch actions against Turkey as being outside of diplomatic ethics limits, as they violate the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic and Consular Relations, and fundamental principles including human rights, freedom of assembly and expression.

“The acts of the Dutch government…preventing Turkish people living there from assembling freely and use of force against them is of a biased and contradictory nature,” Hajiyev said.

Hajiyev accused the Netherlands, alongside several other political institutions in Europe, of unreasonably criticizing other countries.

Turkey and the Netherlands locked horns following the Dutch government’s barring Turkish ministers from entering and meeting Turks living in the country on Saturday. Citing security concerns, Dutch authorities stopped the plane carrying Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavushoglu from flying into Rotterdam on March 11; it also prevented Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya from entering the Turkish consulate in the same city.

Both diplomats were planning to rally with Turkish supporters in the Dutch city in support of a referendum to be held in Turkey on April 16, which is expected to expand the powers of the president and may turn Turkey into a presidential system from its current status as a parliamentary republic.

On Sunday, in response to Dutch actions, hundreds of Turks gathered in front of the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam to protest. After a skirmish with the protesters, Dutch police broke up the rally using dogs and water cannons.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan triggered the political row into a wider confrontation with his statements that portrayed the Netherlands as “Nazi remnants and fascists,” and likened the Dutch government to a “banana republic.” Erdogan vowed the same flight cancellations against the Dutch diplomats and called for international sanctions on the Netherlands, while the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the Turkish leader should apologize for his comparison to Nazis.

Prior to the moves by the Dutch, the German government in recent days also took the same measures, as events were scheduled in Germany to be attended by senior ministers from Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party. Berlin linked the cancellation of meetings to security reasons.