The Netherlands officially withdraws its ambassador to Turkey because there is still no solution in sight when it comes to the conflict between the two countries. According to Minister Zijlstra:
NL & Turkey have tried to reach an agreement on how to normalize bilateral relations. However, talks do not yet offer sufficient perspective on a settlement. Therefore, NL officially withdraws its Ambassador to Turkey. A pause in negotiations is in place. https://t.co/VBVDuOA89r
— Halbe Zijlstra (@HalbeZijlstra) 5 februari 2018
This is as harsh as it comes in the diplomatic world folks, and that being between two NATO- members – wow…
The part about the ambassador is a formality because the Netherlands did not have an ambassador in Ankara since March last year. The relationship between the countries was already under heavy pressure before March 2017 but when Two Turkish ministers wanted to campaign in the Netherlands for a Turkish referendum, which should lead to more power for President/Dictator Erdogan in Turkey the diplomatic **** really hit the fan. The plane with the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs was not allowed to land in the Netherlands and the Turkish Minister of Family Affairs, who came from Germany by car, had to leave the country under police escort. The Turks were angry about that.
Turkey’s dirty war in Syria
The Netherlands also called on Turkey last month to be cautious in the operation against the Kurds in Northwestern Syria (the very same groups on which the West relied to defeat ISIS). “The large-scale intervention that now seems to take place, we are very worried about that”, minister Zijlstra said.
So this war also didn’t help. And there was quite some unrest in the Netherlands last week when Turkey arrested their top-doctors when they issued a statement that called for peace in general.
There could also be a number of different reasons this isn’t working out. Elections are coming to the Netherlands next month and it wouldn’t look good for the governmental parties to cave into Erdogan right now. Maybe the Netherlands is truly upset about being called ‘Nazi’s’ by an increasingly crazy acting Erdogan, I mean, should we just let that slide? Or it could genuinely be that the Netherlands for once did not pick money over principles and realized that the dictatorial regime of Turkey is no longer a friend of ours.
Probably a combination of all of this, but nevertheless: The Netherlands and Turkey have officially broken up.
What do you make of all this? Feel welcome to comment