Dutch premier seeks to fix ‘cold’ relations with Turkey

Dutch premier seeks to fix ‘cold’ relations with Turkey

THE HAGUE
Dutch premier seeks to fix ‘cold’ relations with Turkey

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has expressed his desire to fix “cold relations” between his country and Turkey.

"I think that it will be good if the relations [with Turkey] are fixed. Turkey is a NATO partner," Rutte said in an interview with Dutch daily De Telegraaf.

The prime minister said he and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan shared the same table at the G20 summit in Hamburg in July but they did not communicate with each other.

However, he said, there is communication at the ministerial level between Turkey and the Netherlands.

Relations between Turkey and the Netherlands soured ahead of the April 16 referendum in Turkey, when Dutch authorities canceled the flight permit of a plane carrying Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on March 11.

The Dutch government also expelled Family and Social Affairs Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya from Rotterdam, blocking her from addressing the Turkish community in the Netherlands ahead of the referendum.

Moreover, rallies organized by Turks there in favor of constitutional changes to shift Turkey to an executive presidential system faced restrictions from both central and local governments.

The referendum saw Turkey vote to adopt a presidential system of government.

Turkey, Netherlands, rutte