Turkey bans Dutch ambassador as diplomatic crisis escalates

Turkey has suspended high-level political contacts with the Netherlands and threatened to re-evaluate a key deal to halt the flow of migrants to Europe in a dramatic escalation of its diplomatic row with EU member states.

Numan Kurtulmuş, a deputy prime minister and chief government spokesman, said on Monday that the Dutch ambassador, who is on leave, would not be allowed to return in response to a ban on Turkish ministers speaking at rallies in the Netherlands.

Turkey would also close its airspace to Dutch diplomats, Kursulmuş said, adding: “There is a crisis and a very deep one. We didn’t create this crisis or bring to this stage … Those creating this crisis are responsible for fixing it.”

The spokesman’s remarks came hours after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğandefied pleas from Brussels to tone down his rhetoric, repeating accusations of European “nazism” and warning that his ministers would take their treatment by the Dutch to the European court of human rights.

Erdoğan also accused Germany’s Angela Merkel of “supporting terrorists” and criticised her for backing the Dutch in the row over Turkish campaigning abroad before an April referendum on controversial plans to expand his powers.

“Mrs Merkel, why are you hiding terrorists in your country? … Why are you not doing anything?” Erdoğan said in an interview with Turkish television. He added that the position adopted by the Dutch and a number of other EU states amounted to nazism. “We can call this neo-nazism. A new nazism tendency.” …

Read more : The Guardian, 13.03.2017