Dutch Cabinet – Turkey Vice PM not welcome in country

Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images.

The Dutch Cabinet on Friday declared that Turkey’s Vice Prime Minister Tugrul Türkes was not welcome to travel to the Netherlands for a ceremony among Turkish expatriates commemorating last year’s failed coup,

A statement by the Foreign Affairs Ministry said attendance by Turkes or other members of Turkey’s government was undesirable “given the current circumstances in the bilateral relations between our land”.

Military officers attempted to overthrow President Tayyip Erdogan last July in a coup attempt that quickly collapsed. Erdogan accused west European allies of failing to express support for his government quickly enough in the aftermath.

Shortly before Dutch national elections in March – in which anti-immigrant sentiment was a major theme – the Cabinet declared unwelcome Turkish ministers attempting to travel to the Netherlands to campaign among expatriates for a Turkish constitutional referendum giving broader powers to Erdogan. The government expelled one who came anyway.

Friday’s decision is a “natural consequence” of events in March, the statement said.